Countess joins the smiles at Sunbeams

Date: Friday 9th February 2018
The Countess of Wessex (left) shares a joke with Annie Mawson during a visit to the Sunbeams centre at Penrith.
The Countess of Wessex (left) shares a joke with Annie Mawson during a visit to the Sunbeams centre at Penrith.

IT was, as royal engagements go, perhaps one of the more unusual.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex clapped and sang along to versions of I’m a Believer and Blue Suede Shoes as she officially opened the £2.1 million Sunbeams Music Trust headquarters near Penrith yesterday.

The official opening of the music centre marks the fruition of a long and extraordinary journey for the Sunbeams charity, which began in 1992 in Annie’s sitting room with just a £13.60 donation from her then eight-year-old niece.

The Countess referred to her enjoyment of the occasion before she unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit, during which she was given a tour of some of the centre’s specially adapted rooms, where she met groups of users.

“It is a joy to be here. I don’t think I have had so much fun in an afternoon for a long time,” she said.

Full story and more pictures in Saturday's paper