Shannon, who is a student from Newton Stewart, was attending a reception at Easterbrook Hall as a part of a delegation from the Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project. She was accompanied by her befriender Ruth Nicol, and the past and present chair persons of the charity, Catriona Dickson and Alice Campbell.
The Befriending Project is a charity which was founded in 1997 and is based in the Scottish towns of Dumfries and Galloway. The organisation offers support and attention to young people between the ages of 8 and 18 who are burdened with problems at home or school.
They support people through a ‘befriender’, an adult volunteer who is trained in tackling problems and forming healthy relationships. The befrienders get to know the young person by spending some time with them each week and doing fun activities together.
The Befriending Project was one of the initiatives which was presented to the Earl and Countess of Wessex on their visit to the region. Shannon spent some time talking to the Countess about her life at home and school, and about her gratitude for her befriender. The ever compassionate Countess was moved by her touching story, giving her a tight hug, and making the girl’s day.
Later, Shannon spoke to the Galloway Gazette about the royal meeting, saying: “Meeting the Countess of Wessex was fandabidoozi! She spent a lot of time talking to me and I was telling her that I spent a lot of time caring for my mum and at the end she gave me a big hug. I was a bit surprised by that as you don’t know if you can touch a royal person or not!”