Yesterday, The Countess of Wessex attended the 13th annual BGC Charity day, an event honouring the 658 employees of BGC Partners who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. Sophie was in attendance as President of the charity Brainwave and Patron of DEBRA UK; her former sister-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, was also there.
BGC Partners are a New York-based financial services company, who hold an annual event at their Canary Wharf offices in London, where celebrity guests – each representing a charity or patronage – trade stocks on the phones. The proceeds from the day supports charities, as well as remember the victims of the Twin Towers attacks.
According to BGC Partners, the annual event has raised $113 million since 2004. The revenue generated from this year’s event will be distributed to various charitable organisations, including two of Sophie’s patronages, Brainwave and DEBRA.
The Countess is not the only member of the Royal Family to have been involved in the BGC Charity Day; in previous years, Princes William and Harry have taken part in trading. This year’s event was attended by many celebrities, including Mary Berry, Keira Knightly and Liz Hurley. Sarah Ferguson was also there, representing the charity Children in Crisis.
Sophie has been involved with the charity Brainwave since 2002, and is currently the organisation’s President. Brainwave aims to help children who have disabilities to become independent; through a variety of therapies (both educational and physical), the charity helps children to improve their communication and learning skills. The charity works with children who have many different types of disabilities, including Down’s Syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy.
Providing opportunities for children with disabilities is a cause which the Countess actively promotes, on both a local and national level.
In addition to phone trading, The Queen’s daughter-in-law met with some children who have benefited from Brainwave’s services. Once again, Sophie showed her incredible rapport with children, including three year old Abbie, who was in fits of giggles as she spoke to the royal guest.
She also spoke with those representing the charity DEBRA, a national organisation of which she is patron. DEBRA supports people affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa, a genetic skin condition causing blistering, and aims to fund research into treatments and a cure for the condition.