Countess Sophie wows with visit
SOPHIE, Countess of Wessex, paid a flying visit to Macclesfield as part of her work as a charity patron.
The Royal was in town to visit the David Lewis Centre, a charity which provides care and education for adults with disabilities.
She met users and staff at the charity’s Community Day Services, based in two units on Fence Avenue, where she was presented with a hand made bench for her garden at Bagshot Park in Surrey.
Among those keen to greet Sophie was Bollington resident Alex Steel, who has already met Sophie’s husband Prince Edward.
Alex’s dad, Duncan Steel, said: “Alex met Prince Edward in New Zealand when he did his Duke of Edinburgh seven years ago, so it was great that he was able to show his picture to Sophie.”
He added: “Alex is nonverbal, has autism and major learning difficulties, but the workshops are really good for him.
“It means it gets him out of the house and doing something constructive. It’s a great service and he really benefits from it. The great thing about the workshops is that it focuses on their abilities, not their disabilities.”
Anthony Waters, chief executive of the David Lewis Centre, said they were honoured to welcome the Countess.
He said: “[The countess’s] visits are always a highlight for both service users and staff. Yesterday was no exception with HRH enthusiastically engaging with service users and showing a great interest in the work they do. It is always a pleasure to host HRH at David Lewis and we look forward to welcoming her back in the near future.”
Sophie visited Unit 1, which is home to the digital design and production team, and Unit 9, a workshop for craft based work experience, and was also presented with printed coasters made for the occasion.
She arrived in town by helicopter which landed at the King’s School’s Junior Division site on Fence Avenue, and was greed by Cheshire East Mayor Coun Arthur Moran and Mayoress Carole Thomas, King’s deputy head Toby Seth, and 11-year-old students William Barrett and Jenny Wallace.
Jenny, from Rushton Spencer, said: “I was a little nervous to start off with but the Countess made me feel very comfortable.
“I will remember this day for the rest of my life, seeing the Countess and getting to talk to her and watching the giant helicopter fly in over Macclesfield and land just yards from us.”
The Countess with members of Unit 9, which is a workshop providing craft based experiences
Countess Sophie with Grace Stockdale during her visit to the David Lewis Centre