Buckingham Palace revealed last night the Countess of Wessex has become a St John Ambulance Care Volunteer at an NHS Vaccination centre in Greater London to support their efforts in assisting with vaccination across the country. St John Ambulance said, "We're delighted to welcome the Countess of Wessex, and Grand President of St John Ambulance, as part of the vaccination programme. Her Royal Highness has completed the required training to become a 'Care Volunteer'. This weekend, St John people across the country will be giving time to support their communities. Thank you for all you do."Hello! reports Sophie is "keen to help out in a practical way as St John Ambulance supports the NHS's incredible mass vaccination programme and is proud to have joined a growing team of over 10,000 volunteers who are now trained and being deployed to NHS vaccination centres across England, as part of the extraordinary collective effort to beat the pandemic".
Wearing a green St John t-shirt during her first shift, Sophie chatted to other volunteers. A spokesperson added, "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." It marked the first of a number of shifts the Countess plans to complete in the coming months and very much echoes the efforts of Princess Sofia of Sweden who volunteered on the frontlines in a hospital during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward spoke to Sky News about the Duke of Edinburgh award, saying projects like the DoE "are more important at present than ever before", and touching on other topics including homeschooling. "We mind desperately about trying to help them catch up with their academic career, but at the end of the day we're talking about what can we give young people at this time that's really going to help them in the future - and how are they going to be ready for the world. And that's not just about academics."
Speaking about Louise and James, he described the pair as "chalk and cheese" when it came to their feelings on learning from home. "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." Click here to watch the interview.