HRH Sophie Countess of Wessex had a busy day in Wiltshire yesterday, Tuesday, October 15.

Her day in the county began with a visit to help Swindon NSPCC celebrate 25 years of supporting local children and their families.

The Royal patron of the NSPCC unveiled a plaque marking the silver anniversary, 26 years to the day Princess Margaret opened the charity’s first service centre in the town. Fundraisers, volunteers, staff, young people and service users joined in the  celebration of the event.

By Spencer Mulholland

The Countess toured the centre on and met children and families, staff members, volunteers and fundraisers.

Also present was HM Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Troughton.

In the afternoon, the Countess officially opened the veterans’ centre, Erskine House, in Wilton, the UK’s first residential enterprise training for veterans in a community setting. It will provide service leavers and veterans with the time and space to retrain and to start a career or their own businesses, contributing to, and supported by, the local community,

The Wilton scheme consists of 44 flats, and half are already taken up. Charity Alabaré is providing support.

An Enterprise Hub, due to open in 2021 is to be constructed next to Erskine House.

The Countess then travelled the three miles to Salisbury to attend the 60th birthday tea party of South Wilts Mencap in the Guildhall Banqueting Room.

60th Birthday Party for South Wilts Mencap. Picture by Spencer Mulholland

There she mingled freely with parents, clients and volunteers, and cut the birthday cake. Lady Troughton accompanied the Countess with other dignitaries, including the Mayor of Salisbury Cllr John Walsh and leader of the council Cllr Jeremy Nettle.


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