Ahead of World Book Day, The Countess of Wessex joined Guide Dogs at a new hub for the charity on Wednesday.
Sophie visited the Reading Hub Facility to learn more about the organisation’s services for children, young people and families, including buddy dogs. The Countess is Patron of Guide Dogs.
The Countess met members of the Children and Young People’s Services team to hear about how the charity helps young people affected by impaired vision.
Her Royal Highness met children who have benefited from Guide Dogs’ ‘CustomEyes’ books, where children’s stories are available in large print to allow those with impaired vision to enjoy them.
The visit allowed Sophie a photo opportunity with some of the dogs at the new facility.
The Countess of Wessex took over the patronage from Princess Alexandra last year during a joint engagement. The pair opened the new regional centre for Guide Dogs South West, where they saw a demonstration of both puppy and dog training classes.
They heard guide dogs can help those who are visually impaired, including children.
Our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, celebrates #WorldBookDay with some young vision-impaired readers at our centre in Berkshire ?
The Countess read with the children, who use our specially produced large print CustomEyes books (1/2) ? pic.twitter.com/nD8Sl9Dc3G
— Guide Dogs (@guidedogs) March 3, 2022
The Countess of Wessex has a long-term passion for working with and promoting the work of charities who help the visually impaired. Both she and Prince Edward visited the Guide Dogs centre at Forfar in Scotland in 2019, shortly after they became the Earl and Countess of Forfar to mark Edward’s 55th birthday.
Sophie is also Patron of the Vision Foundation, and Global Ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. Last year, HRH congratulated key representatives who assisted in eliminating blinding trachoma in the Gambia.