Royal visit a fitting occasion
THE children and adults with learning difficulties who attend the Sunbeams Music Centre near Penrith made as big an impression on Sophie, Countess of Wessex on Thursday as she did on them.
The Countess used part of a three-pronged visit to Cumbria to officially open the Sunbeams charity’s new headquarters and music therapy centre, which has cost more than £2 million and which is worth every penny.
The royal visitor, perhaps more used to the protocol and formalities of public engagements, obviously enjoyed herself as she mingled with Sunbeams users and their families, as well as the volunteers and supporters on whom the charity depends.
She hadn’t had as much fun in an afternoon for a long time, she declared.
The tone of the Countess’s visit was in keeping with the ethos of the fabulous building, which has become a centre of laughter, happiness and joy, as well as of the hard work that is needed to ensure its work in delivering music therapy to more than 1,500 disadvantaged and disabled children and adults continues.
The centre is a tribute to the vision and tenacity of Sunbeams founder Annie Mawson and her husband, Michael Lawson-Johnson, and they must have been gratified that their big day was such a success.
Cumbria, and Eden in particular, is lucky to have such a fantastic and uplifting development on the doorstep.