Sophie Wessex enters Duchess of Cambridge's photo project with image of tireless volunteer

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Sophie, the Countess of Wessex taking a picture of Ali (centre), a fellow volunteer organising food deliveries at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking. (PA Images)

The Countess of Wessex has shown support for the Duchess of Cambridge’s photography project by submitting her own entry - of a tireless volunteer who puts in 10 hours a day, before doing his day job.

Sophie has been volunteering near to her home in Bagshot Park throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

And now, she’s submitted a picture of a fellow volunteer for Kate’s Hold Still project with the National Portrait Gallery.

Sophie, 55, sent in a camera phone picture of Ali who has been volunteering at the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking.

She writes: “Ali helped to establish the mosque’s food parcel delivery service for NHS workers, people self-isolating and other families in need, which has so far helped 400 households.

“Ali volunteers at the mosque every day from 7am – 5pm, keeping up with his day job from home in the evenings. Ali’s smile captures the enthusiasm for helping others that is so evident amongst the volunteers at the mosque.”

She called the photo ‘Packed with Love’.

Sophie's entry into the Hold Still project. (Buckingham Palace)

It’s understood the mosque is one of the places Sophie has been volunteering.

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge uses Instagram to personally respond to applicants of photo project

Kate’s project aims to capture life in lockdown around Britain, with people encouraged to send in pictures which show life behind closed doors as well as life for frontline workers responding in the time of coronavirus.

The 38-year-old mother-of-three surprised other entrants last weekend with personal comments on their Instagram posts, telling some she loved their images, and others they had captured the projects spirit.

Hold Still entries will be whittled down to 100 images covering subjects including ‘Your New Normal’, ‘Helpers and Heroes’ and ‘Acts of Kindness’. The duchess will be on the judging panel.

Sophie volunteering during the pandemic. (Ashford and St Peter's NHS Trust)

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Sophie has been spotted volunteering on several occasions during the pandemic, including packing and delivering food parcels to nurses working in Chertsey, Surrey.

In mid-April she helped make “thousands of meals” for NHS workers as she volunteered with Rhubarb. That came a few days after she helped out at a homeless shelter where she met staff and volunteers, and assisted in packing emergency Easter parcels for those affected by the pandemic.

Kate and Sophie don’t often work together on royal projects but joined forces on International Nurses Day to make calls to nurses across the Commonwealth.