Royalty came to Swindon to celebrate 25 years since the NSPCC opened its doors in the town.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited the site in Old Town to meet charity members and unveil a silver plaque.

It is also 26 years since Princess Margaret opened the town's branch of the charity, which prevents cruelty to children.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said: “We are absolutely delighted to have a second royal visit to help us celebrate, including Swindon Business Carers for Children, who have played a huge part in raising funds for over 25 years, funding the original service centre.”

Members of the SBCC took on various challenges in the last year to raise money for the charity.

Events included the London Marathon, an annual ball, walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats and rowing the Thames.

The countess – who is the wife of Prince Edward – joked: “You’re all crazy for doing all of that.”

She also made a brief speech to the room about their efforts in raising money for the charity, saying “It’s difficult to keep funding a charity when you don’t see what difference you’re making to the children’s lives. But you do make a difference, it all helps and I’m very grateful for what you all did, so thank you.”

SBCC Peter Mapson took part in the challenges over the last year and was happy to have the chance to meet the countess.

He said: “I thought she was quite charming, she had definitely done her research and knew what was important here and the fact that we had all had the chance to be apart of it has made it a very good day.

“We need good people to counteract all the bad ones who do those awful things to children.”

Peter told the Adver that out of all the challenges he did to raise money for the NSPCC, rowing was the most challenging.

He added: “The youngsters motivated all of us to keep going, it was good to have those different generations take part.

“But the rowing was as challenging as it was frightening because it’s so dangerous. It’s quite a nerve-wracking thing.”

Caroline Trickey has been delivering the charity’s services to children and families since it opened.

She said: “I remember well when Princess Margaret opening the NSPCC building Victoria Road soon after I started work in September 1993, and so it is lovely that the Countess of Wessex has been able to come today and help us celebrate the silver anniversary.

“Children have told us that they do want specialist services to help with recovery from sexual abuse and we aim to try and support children according to their individual needs using a range of communications.”