Earlier this week, Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited Woking, Surrey, to officially open a new part of a hospice facility providing palliative care. Last night, however, was more festive with a carol concert in London for her patronage, the NSPCC.
On Tuesday, the Countess was given a special tour of Goldsworth Park Centre in Woking, which provides 20 beds for terminally ill patients. She met those receiving care and their families on the ward, and even helped one patient celebrate her 70th birthday.
Woking & Sam Beare Hospices runs the centre, caring for over 1,400 patients, their carers and families each year. They specialise in delivering holistic care for patients with progressive advanced conditions free of charge across Surrey, giving treatment and
It was then to the Bradbury WellBeing Centre for Sophie; day patient, Tom Callaghan, has always wanted to meet a member of the Royal Family and she helped him fulfil his wish.
Of course, such a royal visit wouldn’t go unmarked, and The Countess of Wessex unveiled an official plaque, also signing the hospice visitors’ book. In a short speech at the unveiling, Sophie thanked everyone for their hard work in making the vision of the centre a reality, and spoke of how impressed she was with the building and its facilities.
Jayne Cooper, CEO of Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, said of the visit: “We were honoured and delighted that HRH The Countess of Wessex led our celebrations today and, after a period of huge transition, officially opened our new Woking Hospice. During her visit Her Royal Highness met with patients and their loved ones, our team of staff and supporters, without whom we could not deliver all we do.”
“Hospice care over the years has changed and the demands on our services have increased. We provide very personal and unique care and support plans for patients who often have very complex needs. Our new build means we are now able to provide the very best in facilities.”
— Tom Cantoni (@tomcantoni__) December 5, 2017
13-year-old Chloe Boyes gave the Royal her posy of flowers upon leaving, as a successful fundraiser for the hospice. Chloe was six when her dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, and she was just eight when he died; she has raised more than £2000 for the organisation.
Part of a more private visit saw the royal guest head to the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre in Guildford.
Yesterday evening, however, Sophie attended a carol concert for her patronage, the NSPCC, which she took over from The Queen at the beginning of 2016.
ChildLine, the youth support helpline, held a ‘Merry Little Christmas Concert’ at St Columba’s Church in Knightsbridge. The charity works with organisations such as the NSPCC to ensure children are safeguarded and intervention is undertaken when necessary.
The Queen’s daughter-in-law gave a reading of ‘Christmas’ by John Betjeman during the service.
Following the service, the Countess met some of the evening’s choir performers, plus volunteers, staff and supporters of the charity. She spoke to a number of people, including founder of ChildLine, Dame Esther Rantzen, whom Sophie has met a number of times before.