Sophie volunteers by packing food parcels for hospital staff

The Countess of Wessex has been volunteering by packing food parcels for healthcare staff and meeting nurses and midwives on International Nurses Day.

Sophie joined the group Nourish our Nurses before meeting staff at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, Surrey.

The Queen’s daughter-in-law had taken part in calls to nurses around the world with the Duchess of Cambridge to mark the day, as the royal family joined forces in a coordinated show of mass support.

Sophie volunteering on International Nurses Day (St Peter’s Hospital/PA)

Sophie was out and about helping the team of 16 volunteers packing and delivering 200 bags to St Peter’s, and was shown wearing gloves as she carried large plastic bags of fruit and vegetables.

The countess also placed golden envelopes with extra treats in some of the parcels, including vouchers for afternoon tea and beauty treatments.

She met nurses and midwives from wards across the Trust, including those from critical care, after delivering the food, standing apart from the staff to socially distance.

The countess meeting hospital staff (St Peter’s Hospital/PA)

Nourish our Nurses was founded by Jo-Ann Airikkala, who was inspired to start the scheme after learning of a friend’s experience as a nurse in Edinburgh.

“Seeing the panic buying and empty supermarket shelves really got me thinking about our frontline NHS heroes,” Ms Airikkala said.

“Those working flat out to care for patients deserve to be looked after and provided with the ingredients for a healthy, hearty meal.”

Sophie helping to deliver the food bags (St Peter’s Hospital/PA)

Andy Field, chairman at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, thanked Sophie for helping out.

“It was a real treat for some of our hard-working nurses and midwives to meet the countess and receive their food bags and golden envelopes,” he said.

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