THERE’S now just days to go before the Countess of Wessex visits South Petherton and Seavington.

She will officially open the new South Petherton Community Hospital on Wednesday, March 21, and then visit the Seavington Community Shop and Cafe.

She will be accompanied at South Petherton by the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, Lady Gass, civic leaders, NHS Somerset chairman Jane Barrie and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust chairman Linda Nash on a tour of the community hospital’s medical facilities and therapy garden.

As well as meeting staff and patients, she will meet local schoolchildren, staff, civic guests and invited visitors, and will unveil a commemorative plaque in the hospital foyer.

It will be a big day for Katie Aldridge, 16, who will present the Countess with a posy of flowers, and local landscape artist Angela Rooke, who will present her with a painting of South Petherton.

The Countess is expected to arrive at South Petherton at around 11am.

Later, she will meet volunteers who have helped to create the much needed community shop in Seavington.