Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Video: Countess of Wessex shows her support for good causes based in town during visits

11:29 20 March 2014

A wonderful place with a wonderful atmosphere.

The Countess of Wessex visits Headway, Ipswich 
The Countess meets Brainy DogsThe Countess of Wessex visits Headway, Ipswich The Countess meets Brainy Dogs

Those were the words of Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex following a tour of Headway Ipswich and East Suffolk today, where she saw first-hand the work done to help people with brain injuries.

After she arrived at the centre, based at Ransomes Europark, the countess was treated to a performance of the Wizard of Oz, which users of the service had been preparing for about three months.

Those involved in the show said they were extremely excited to perform in front of Sophie Wessex.

Marjorie Magnus, a client at the centre, played the part of the scarecrow.

The Countess of Wessex visits Headway, Ipswich 
The Countess meets Brainy DogsThe Countess of Wessex visits Headway, Ipswich The Countess meets Brainy Dogs

She said: “It was lovely. She has a pleasant smile and you just felt at home with her really. We all felt a bit nervous before she came in but she makes you feel comfortable.”

Officials at the charity also showed the countess a number of activities that take place at the centre to help people who have suffered brain injuries during the tour.

This included cooking and art classes, where the countess took time out to speak with clients of the service to find out how it was helping them.

She also found out more about the Brainy Dogs project, which sees prisoners train rescue dogs to be companions for people with neurological condition.

The Countess of Wessex visits Headway, Ipswich 
Inside the Art roomThe Countess of Wessex visits Headway, Ipswich Inside the Art room

After witnessing some of the activities the countess unveiled a plaque to mark the visit and she described the centre as “a wonderful place with a wonderful atmosphere.”

Following the visit, Helen Fairweather, CEO of Headway Ipswich and East Suffolk, said: “I think it was really good and I think she was really interested in the things that we do.

“She wanted to stop and talk to the clients and she showed real empathy for our clients and real understanding. She was very natural with all the clients.”

The countess also visited Genesis Orwell Mencap today to see the support and services available to people in south Suffolk with disabilities.

A drumming performance put on by some of the people supported by the organisation was just one of the events laid on for the countess during the tour, at the charity’s Wright Road building.

After the performance, the countess visited the art studio to view some of the work on display and the carpentry workshop, where she talked to staff about the award-winning garden furniture which had been produced on the site.

She then enjoyed a private lunch followed with Genesis chief executive Nino Serritiello, chair of trustees, Robert Downes and Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Tollemache.

Mr Serritiello who escorted the Countess during the visit, said: “We are honoured the Countess chose to come to Genesis as part of her visit to Ipswich. It was hugely exciting for our clients and staff to meet the Countess and we hope the time at Genesis was as enjoyable for the royal party as it was for us.”

Mr Downes added: “Her affinity with people with learning disabilities was remarkable.”

When the countess left, she was presented with a posy by Genesis client Louise Bailie and an oak garden tray by client Robert Knock.

Louise said: “It was fantastic to be the one to give her the flowers. She was really kind, helpful and beautiful as well. “



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Bad weather in Felixstowe.

Properties are at risk from flooding at Bawdsey Quay and Felixstowe Ferry, the Environment Agency has warned.

Former Ipswich Town manager Sir Bobby Robson

More than £155,000 has so far been raised by the Sir Bobby Robson online auction with hours still to go.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A 67-year-old west Suffolk garage owner who sexually assaulted and raped three schoolgirls more than 25 years ago has been jailed for 19 years.

A parade of puppets, live bands, fireworks and a packed Angel Hill, Abbey Gardens and town centre - the annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Tens of thousands of people swarmed to west Suffolk this weekend for what organisers expect to have been a record breaking Christmas Fayre.

One crew from Leiston attended the incident

A chimney fire in Knodishall was extinguished by firefighters from Leison this afternoon.

Vicky Ellis

More than £3,500 will be presented to the Colchester hospital chemotherapy unit in memory of a woman who died of cervical cancer aged just 25.

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

Organisers behind one of Suffolk’s largest annual events, Bury St Edmunds’ Christmas fayre, are hoping today’s drizzly weather won’t dampen spirits on the last day of the event.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24