Countess of Wessex celebrates JCB’s NSPCC fundraising and supports SafeSpace

Sophie was in Staffordshire to recognise the work of local organisations

The Countess of Wessex carried out engagements in Staffordshire yesterday, showing her support for fundraising to mark the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, as well as for women in need, refugees, and the homeless. 

The engagements come a day after The King requested that her husband, The Earl of Wessex, should be added to the list of Counsellors of State. 

The Countess of Wessex visited JCB. (JCB)

Sophie started her day by visiting JCB in Uttoxeter, to recognise their NSPCC Platinum Jubilee Appeal, which was set up to honour of the Queen’s 70 year reign. The Countess became Patron of the NSPCC in 2016, and the appeal sought to raise funds for the vital work of the charity, which seeks to protect children from abuse and prevent it happening.

Queen Elizabeth II marked her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, with a four-day weekend. The Queen also made a number of appearances on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, including at Trooping the Colour. Organisations and charities chose to mark her long reign and decades of service with schemes that would have a positive impact on their communities or with fundraisers. 

This project included fundraising activities such as a sponsored129-mile coast-to-coast cycle ride, as well as the building of a one-off electric Loadall telescopic handler from scratch by 36 apprentices, given a distinctive vinyl wrap using the handprints of children.

HRH received a cheque for £300,000 for one of her patronages, NSPCC. (JCB)

During her visit to JCB, Sophie was given an tour of the hi-tech manufacturing plant complete with its computer-controlled production line and rainwater harvesting and heat capture systems.

Her Royal Highness met employees from a range of departments at JCB who have played key roles in the JCB NSPCC Platinum Jubilee Appeal, which was launched in 2021 with a target of £70,000. The employees, however, raised £150,000.

One of the employees that Sophie met named Ben said: ‘It was fantastic to meet The Countess of Wessex and the whole team is very proud to have been able to show off our hi-tech workplace to a member of the Royal Family. She was very interested in everything we have done to make this a world class, efficient manufacturing facility which competes with the best in the world.’

Concluding the visit, The Countess was presented a cheque for £300,000 for the NSPCC from its fundraising activities. The Bamford Charitable Trust doubled the amount raised by employees.

A previous £2 million JCB NSPCC Appeal, finished in 2014, saw a new therapeutic centre opened by Sophie the same year.

Countess of Wessex visited Safe Space. (Royal Family)

Next, The Countess of Wessex visited he Newcastle-Under-Lyme Council’s Safe Space initiative, to see the work being carried out by staff and volunteers on the local refugee programme.

The Countess learnt about how the programme is supporting women who may feel vulnerable whilst out at night. Sophie regularly works with organisations focusing on women’s rights and violence against women.

She met Michelle Hopper, the Council’s senior partnerships officer as well as Catherine Fox, the Newcastle Partnerships and Vulnerability Officer, and Charlotte Pearce and Lianne Shea from the Business Improvement District.

Fox spoke to the mother of two about the project, including showing her some of the items which can be offered to women who are seeking support, and also introduced her to some of the volunteers providing the service.

The Royal Family have taken an active role and interest in hearing about how local communicates have been supporting refugees. 

Countess of Wessex visited the Salvation Army centre. (Royal Family).

The day concluded at the Salvation Army, where Her Royal Highness had the chance to see the work being carried out by staff on the Rough Sleepers Initiative, by supporting those who are homeless or sleeping rough and helping move them into safety and accommodation.

The King’s sister in law met Krestal Al Daami, who is the lead for the Council’s homeless and Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI). Sophie was introduced to the team and received an overview of the service and what they are trying to achieve.

Sophie also spoke to several service users about the issues that they face and what is being done to help them and she thanked them for sharing their experiences.

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