Countess of Wessex volunteers at a Covid-19 vaccination centre


Sophie Wessex has begun volunteering at a vaccination centre during lockdown to assist the Covid-19 jab rollout across the country.

The Countess of Wessex, 56, who is the Grand President of St John Ambulance and a care volunteer for the charity, joined helpers at a centre in south-west London on Thursday after completing her training.

She was said to be eager to work in a practical way during the mass vaccination programme, which St John Ambulance is supporting, and is thought to proud to be part of the charity’s growing team of volunteers.

During her first shift on Thursday, Sophie was pictured avidly chatting to people and providing support as they were given the Covid-19 jab.

Sophie Wessex, 56, who is the Grand President of St John Ambulance, has started volunteering a Covid-19 vaccination centre (pictured) in south-west London

Sophie, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, was seen providing the patient with reassurance and vital information during the vaccination process.

She donned a green St John Ambulance T-shirt to mark herself out as a volunteer and kept herself protected by sporting a disposable face mask during her shift.

A St John Ambulance spokeswoman said: ‘Like many of our existing and long-standing volunteers, the Countess of Wessex has completed the required training to become a care volunteer in support of the NHS vaccination programme.

‘We’re delighted to welcome the Countess, as the Grand President of St John Ambulance, to a growing team of over 10,000 volunteers who are now trained and being deployed to NHS vaccination centres all over England, in an extraordinary collective effort to beat the pandemic.’

During her first shift on Thursday, the Countess was seen avidly chatting to a man (pictured) and providing him with vital information as he was given the Covid-19 jab

During her first shift on Thursday, the Countess was seen avidly chatting to a man (pictured) and providing him with vital information as he was given the Covid-19 jab

St John Ambulance is helping deliver the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme and expects to train around 30,000 vaccination volunteers by this coming spring.

Sophie has been at the forefront of the royal family’s response to the ongoing pandemic and was previously hailed as a ‘royal key worker’ for her volunteering work.

Last June, she visited St John Ambulance’s Operational Support hub to help organise PPE shipments for ambulance crews and hospital staff across the UK.

Speaking about her volunteering during the crisis, Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty, previously said: ‘She is making a difference in a very understated, very “Sophie” way.’ 

Meanwhile, Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, of Bentley’s Entertainment, who was helped by the royal to organise meals for NHS workers, told PEOPLE magazine in June last year: ‘There’s no fanfare. These are private visits done in her own private time. 

‘When she leaves our kitchens, she generally then goes on to do more projects in different hospitals.’

She was said to be eager to work during the mass vaccination programme and is reportedly proud to be part of St John Ambulance's growing team of volunteers

She was said to be eager to work during the mass vaccination programme and is reportedly proud to be part of St John Ambulance’s growing team of volunteers

A friend added: ‘She was brought up by her parents and there was going to be no free ride in her family. She wasn’t born to be the eldest daughter of a duke and duchess and find a marvellous marriage and polish her tiaras.’  

Last summer, the royal – who is a mother to Lady Louise, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, – also joined The Saints Foundation to pack food and prescription parcels for the vulnerable.

Sharing the news on Twitter, the Southampton-based charity posted: ‘We were delighted to be joined by HRH The Countess of Wessex this week, who volunteered with us at @FairShareUk and on our Prescription Delivery Service. 

‘A real privilege to show The Royal Family how we are transforming lives in and around Southampton.’

Earlier this month, the Earl of Wessex, 56, gave an insight into what lockdown has been like for himself and his wife, particularly with homeschooling their two children.

Sophie's husband Prince Edward revealed his two children, Lady Louise, 17, and Viscount James, 13, have been 'chalk and cheese' when it comes to homeschooling (all pictured in 2019)

Sophie’s husband Prince Edward revealed his two children, Lady Louise, 17, and Viscount James, 13, have been ‘chalk and cheese’ when it comes to homeschooling (all pictured in 2019)

Speaking to Sky News, Prince Edward said that his teenage children have been ‘chalk and cheese’ when it comes to homeschooling, admitting that his daughter Louise has ‘struggled’, while her younger brother James thinks it’s ‘fantastic’.

The Queen’s youngest son, who lives at Bagshot Park in Surrey, explained: ‘The eldest one, Louise, she had her GCSEs interrupted last year, so we went through that whole pain of just having all of that suddenly taken away.

‘And so she sort of struggles a bit with the online learning because she’d much prefer to be with everyone… My younger one frankly thinks being at home and online is fantastic.

‘I have to say half term came at just the right time because it was very interesting the frustrations that were beginning to show – and I reckon we weren’t the only family to have experienced that. I count our blessings that we’re lucky where we are.’



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