HRH Sophie, The Countess of Wessex toured the Mencap NI Children’s Centre in South Belfast as part of her visit to Northern Ireland. 

The Countess of Wessex has been national Patron of Mencap since 2004. The Mencap Children’s Centre is run in partnership with the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Mencap Children's Centre

The Mencap Children’s Centre opened in 2016 and is a specialist learning environment for 52 children with a learning disability, autism and developmental delay, as well as providing support for families.


Jan Tregelles, Chief Executive of Mencap said:

We are delighted to show the Countess of Wessex the work we do at the Children’s Centre, giving very young children with a learning disability the best start in life by providing child centred programmes to develop children to the best of their abilities. Supporting families and carers is central to this work and as Patron of Mencap The Countess of Wessex is very supportive of all our work.

HRH The Countess of Wessex playing with young children at table in Mencap Centre.

HRH The Countess of Wessex's visit

During the tour of the Mencap Children’s Centre, Sophie, The Countess of Wessex together with, Jan Tregelles, Mencap Chief Executive joined in a learning activity with the children and met many of the parents being supported by Mencap's new Family Support Programme.

They also met with Mencap supporters, staff, local dignitaries and the therapeutic team from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust who are based at the Children’s Centre.

Pauline McDonald, Service Manager Children’s Disability, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said: 'Belfast Trust has had a longstanding partnership with Mencap in the delivery of preschool support and therapies, initially at Segal House and more recently at the Children’s Centre. 

The Trust regards this investment as a critical part of its service offer and looks forward to many more fruitful years supporting families together.