MEMBERS, volunteers and supporters gathered in Salisbury Guildhall yesterday, to celebrate 60 years of South Wilts Mencap (SWM) with a tea party.

And the charity welcomed Sophie, Countess of Wessex as a special attendee, who was introduced to guests as everyone enjoyed a selection of homemade treats.

During the afternoon a song was performed by club member, Sebastien Varennes, and his music teacher Lynsey Docherty, and winners of the SWM Christmas Card Competition were announced in a special presentation.

Lady Hawley, president of the charity, said: “The Countess’s presence and support made the tea party extra special. It was an honour and a privilege to mark such a fantastic milestone in the charity’s work on Tuesday.

“Thanks to a dedicated team and wonderful support from the Salisbury community, South Wilts Mencap can look forward to continuing enabling our members and their families to lead fuller lives.”

Mayor of Salisbury John Walsh, who hosted the event with the Mayoress, added: “I was delighted to welcome the Countess to Salisbury to meet members and supporters of South Wilts Mencap.

"It has been a pleasure to support the charity during my Mayoral Year.”