The Countess of Wessex has spent two days in Cornwall, carrying out a full schedule of engagements. Sophie visited a the Bosence Farm Community, the UK’s ‘best independent’ fish and chips shop, and the West Cornwall Women’s Aid, among others.
Sophie’s first day in Cornwall
Yesterday, Sophie’s day began at the Krowji Creative Hub, based in a former grammar school in Redruth. The Cornish word ‘krowji’ translates literally to ‘shed’ in English. The hub is the largest creative space in the county, offering various services to creative businesses, including studios, offices, and workspaces, as well as a cafe. The Krowji is currently being used by various businesses, from furniture makers and jewellers to painters and musicians. The hub has been in use since 2005 and opened an ‘eco-building’ two years ago, as the Krowji continues to grow.
Sophie also spent time at the Bosence Farm Community; the farm is managed by a substance abuse charity, and is a unique centre for those who have issues with drugs or alcohol. The Bosence Farm Community has been in operation at the centre for 26 years, and is registered with the Care Quality Commission.
— ITV News WestCountry (@itvwestcountry) September 19, 2017
The Countess was there to formally open their new residential unit, unveiling a plaque almost identical to the one her husband unveiled in 2010, when he opened the farm’s detox and stabilisation centre. The new Young People and Families unit has eight bedrooms, designed to house those undergoing the rehabilitation process. While at the farm, Sophie toured the centre’s facilities and spoke with both staff and residents.
The Bosence Farm’s Chief Executive, Kate Cook, said it was a ‘huge honour’ to welcome their royal guest. “We are truly delighted to have her support. HRH is a long standing charitable supporter, particularly in championing initiatives relating to young people, and her visit will help to highlight our work and let people know about the great things we achieve at Bosence.”
— Cornwall/Kernow (@CornwaII) 18 September 2017
To finish her first day of engagements, Sophie paid a visit to West Cornwall Women’s Aid in Penzance. The Countess was there to present The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the Women’s Aid Group, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The West Cornwall group supports women living in the area who have experienced domestic abuse. Run by 21 paid members of staff who are supported by a further 27 volunteers, the group was ‘delighted’ to be given the award. During her visit, Sophie spent time talking to each member individually, making sure everyone had plenty of time to chat with her about a wide range of topics.
Day Two in Cornwall: Coastguards and chips
This morning, The Countess of Wessex visited Sithney to carry out an engagement at the non-profit housing association, Coastline Housing. While at the site, Sophie was greeted by excited school children, and was introduced to a local unit of Rainbows, the youngest member of Girlguiding. The Countess is President of the girls’ youth organisation.
Sophie then enjoyed a spot of lunch at Harbour Lights fish and chips shop, which was named ‘Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant of the Year 2017’ at London’s National Fish and Chips Awards.
In operation for 29 years, the restaurant is based in the Falmouth harbour, and boasts impressive views of the coast. Harbour Lights pride themselves on their accessibility, offering a menu in braille for diners with sight problems. The company also uses local potatoes for their chips, and only cooks fish from sustainable sources.
During her visit, the Countess was able to sample some of the award-winning fish and chips, and appeared very impressive by the food on offer.
The Countess of Wessex then ended her two-day visit at the Falmouth Coastguard Station. Sophie met with the coastguards and heard about the important work they do every day. The Royal was also taken on a tour of the station’s facilities. The Falmouth station looks after the biggest search and rescue area in Western Europe, covering 660,000 square miles. Each day, the coastguards monitor an area reaching from the border between Devon and Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly and Lands End.