As if celebrating a milestone birthday wasn’t enough for The Countess of Wessex on Tuesday 20th January, she along with The Earl of Wessex will have a day filled with engagements all in support of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Trust and Tomorrow’s People.
The first port of call for the Royal couple will be the Tomorrow’s People Social Enterprises at St Anselm’s Church in Kensington. The visit will see The Earl and Countess meet staff and supporters at work on the Flower Stall, Coffee Mob and Market Garden. The Kensington flower stall was launched back in 2008 as Tomorrow’s People’s first social enterprise and was soon joined by the Coffee Mob, a stall selling barista style coffee.
Upon their arrival to St Anselm’s Church, school children will greet Their Royal Highnesses after which they will be invited to tour the different enterprises. The social enterprises offer training and development for young people and adults aiming to get back in to full time employment. Tomorrow’s People is a national employment charity that strives to help disadvantaged young people and adults secure a job and stay in it. Since the charity’s inception in 1984, they have helped over 470,000 people on their journey to employment and are still well focused on their original vision, to break the cycle of unemployment and dependency in deprived communities throughout the UK.
As Tuesday 20th January will be The Countess of Wessex’s 50th birthday, the staff and supporters at the Social Enterprises couldn’t let a visit go by without offering Her Royal Highness a gift or two, which is why they will present the Countess with a cake baked by a Tomorrow’s People client employed at a local bakery as well as some flowers, of course from the Social Enterprises Flower Stall.
Following their engagement in Kensington, The Earl and Countess of Wessex will travel to The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine where they will witness demonstrations of the Avoidable Blindness Programme of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is a lead partner of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and advises on as well as implements a host of avoidable blindness programmes.
On their visit to the school, The Earl and Countess of Wessex will be given an overview of the Avoidable Blindness Programme after which they will meet eye care students. The Royal couple will also get the chance to take part in a presentation of PEEK, Portable Eye Examination Kit. PEEK turns a smart phone in to a comprehensive eye examination tool, showing high resolution images of the eye. The Earl and Countess will go on to attend a reception for the school’s students, staff and supporters.
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was founded in 2012 to mark 60 years of Her Majesty The Queen’s contribution to the Commonwealth. It has received donations from Governments, corporate partners and foundations in order to achieve its aim of enriching the lives of people from all backgrounds across the Commonwealth. Its funding has been divided across two programmes, one to empower a new generation of leaders and the other to work towards eliminating avoidable blindness. The Trust’s long term goal is to leave a lasting legacy, owned by the Commonwealth and in honour of The Queen.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is a world leading centre for research and post-graduate education in public and global health. Its main mission is to improve health and health equity both in the UK and worldwide.
So as The Countess of Wessex looks forward to celebrating her 50th birthday on Tuesday 20th January, she and The Earl of Wessex also have a day full of engagements to look forward to. Not your typical birthday celebrations but one wonders if this Royal couple would even dream of having it any other way.