The Countess of Wessex attended the unveiling of a sculpture created for the Vision Foundation earlier this week.
Sophie, who sat for renowned sculptor Frances Segelman in a live stream of the sitting last September, participated in the project in support of blind and partially-sighted people and to raise awareness.
When Sophie sat for the sculpture last fall, she said: “For the blind and partially sighted amongst us, these past months have been especially challenging.
“However, through the care that the Vision Foundation has extended to those in difficulty, I am hopeful that the people we care for will feel empowered within their communities.”
She continued, “This sculpture, and the faces of many others, will allow the blind and partially sighted to see through touch and so to more vividly imagine their world.
“Whether you are a long-time supporter or friend of the Vision Foundation, or you are new to us, thank you for your vital support, and I would encourage you all to speak to the Foundation team to find out more about our work and explore how you can play a part in bringing the world to within closer reach for those who struggle to see it.”
Sophie met with an old friend at the unveiling and helped her to explore the sculpture with her hands. Monica is the visually impaired woman who rode a tandem bike with Sophie earlier this summer to raise awareness for the Vision Foundation’s charity appeal, See My Skills.
The Vision Foundation noted that at the unveiling, Sophie used her platform to advocate for See My Skills, which highlights the need to break the cycle of unemployment for the blind and partially-sighted population in the UK. In their tweet for the event, they wrote: “Thank you to our Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex, for shining her spotlight on the desperate need for sight loss equality in employment.”
Sophie became patron of the Vision Foundation in 2003, succeeding The Queen Mother.