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Test Valley Mayor welcomes Countess of Wessex to the borough during Romsey charity visit

The Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Alan Dowden, welcomed a special guest to the borough last week, as HRH The Countess of Wessex made a visit to a Romsey charity.

  • The Mayor and Countess joined in with a session of armchair aerobics
  • The Countess is a patron of the charity
  • The visit came following a birthday promise made during the pandemic

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Forfar, is the patron of care home charity the Brendoncare Foundation and came to a meeting of its Romsey Companions Club.

Meeting club members, staff and volunteers during an informal visit, the Countess took part in activities, including a session of armchair aerobics alongside the Mayor.

The Countess’s visit fulfilled a promise she made when she participated in an online club on her birthday during the pandemic, when she suggested she could visit a club in person.

Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Alan Dowden said:

“The Countess of Wessex was absolutely lovely and it was a pleasure to meet her. I welcomed her to Romsey and the borough of Test Valley. She was very kind and easy to talk to, having a chat with everyone in attendance. Myself, the Lord Lieutenant Nigel Atkinson and the Countess joined in a session of armchair aerobics with the club members and that was great fun.

“It was great to see a charity’s patron being involved with their work and I know it meant a lot to all the club members, staff and volunteers there.”

Chief Executive of The Brendoncare Foundation, Marianne Wanstall said:

“We are always delighted to welcome HRH The Countess of Wessex to our Brendoncare community clubs and care homes.

“We are very grateful for the interest she shows in our activities and her continued support for our vital work helping people in later life lead independent and fulfilling lives.”

More information about the Brendoncare Foundation can be found on their website at