The Countess of Wessex gives National Star royal seal of approval

National Star Royal Visit - HRH Countess of Wessex

National Star received the royal seal of approval for enabling young people with disabilities to have a ‘limitless life’ rather than a ‘life with limits’.

The Countess of Wessex met students, staff and supporters of National Star at our campus near Cheltenham to mark the national charity’s 50th anniversary.

The Countess met scores of students as she toured the campus, including Georgie Williams and Megan Luscombe in the physiotherapy department.

‘We talked about Georgie and Megan going skiing in Andorra and the Countess asked if the girls enjoyed the apres ski social,’ said Joanne Cherrison, Physiotherapy Assistant.

‘When we said that Georgie’s favourite cocktail was a ‘woo-woo’ the two of them started laughing and the Countess asked Georgie how she drove her chair after a couple of cocktails.’

The Countess, who was wearing an auburn and cream spotted dress and short cream jacket, took off her heels to sit on the mat beside 22-year-old Richard Cadbury as he received physiotherapy.

‘The Countess was wonderful with the students. She took time to stop and chat with so many of them and understood that some of the young people have very different ways of communicating,’ said David Ellis, Chief Executive of National Star.

It was a special day for 19-year-old student Alisha Williams. She escorted the royal visitor on the tour of the campus with National Star Chief Executive David Ellis.

‘The Countess asked me if I had physiotherapy and that once a year we should turn it around and the students run the physiotherapy treatments for the day,’ said Alisha.

National Star is staging its Expressive Arts Week which showcases students’ work in the creative and performing arts.

The Countess had a tour of the students’ art exhibition and watched a display of aerial dancing.

Student Connor Boswell said the Countess sat down next to him to look at the art piece he was working on.

‘She said what I was doing very nice which was very humbling,’ said the 20-year-old.

National Star started in Cheltenham in 1967 with just 10 students. This year we will support 1,500 people with disabilities and learning difficulties at Ullenwood and various locations across England and Wales.

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