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The Countess of Wessex puts young people at the heart of her latest appearances

The Countess of Wessex has officially opened a new unit aimed at helping young people with disabilities lead more independent lives. Sophie was in Hampshire this week to inaugurate a new wing at Treloar School and College in Alton which will provide facilities to help prepare students at the site to get ready for their new life when they leave education.

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The Countess of Wessex at Treloar House in Alton, Hampshire on September 15 2015 (photo Treloar Trust)

The Countess of Wessex is Royal Patron of Treloar and last visited in 2014. On this most recent trip, she opened Evans House which is a newly refurbished accommodation block with 14 en suite rooms and 6 flats designed to help the students there learn about living independently.

During her visit, Sophie met some of the staff who have helped develop Evans House into a modern facility – it has been converted from a 1960s style set of buildings into a base fit for the 21st century. The Countess also spent time with students using Evans House and met some of those who are supporting them.

Treloar School and College support around 150 pupils every year, many with complex physical disabilities. Some students also having learning disabilities. The school was set up by the Treloar Trust which was founded at the start of the 20th century by Sir William Purdie Treloar when he was Lord Mayor of London. He used his mayor’s campaign to raise money for a school and hospital outside London for children with non pulmonary tuberculosis. Queen Alexandra was involved in his initial fundraising.

The Countess had another engagement linked to helping young people work towards a brighter future when she hosted a dinner at her Surrey home, Bagshot Park, for Tomorrow’s People. The organization helps youngsters and adults prepare for the world of work as well as seek out and get jobs. Tomorrow’s People is very close to Sophie’s heart – earlier this year she chose to spend her 50th birthday on an engagement with the organization.

Photo credit: Treloar Trust

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