EACH Royal Patron HRH The Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to The Nook during Children’s Hospice Week, mucking in to help families, staff and volunteer Val White plant a patio garden.
The Duchess brought along a variety of sensory plants such as lavender, bay and rosemary. Also planted were strawberry plants, herbs, geraniums and hydrangeas in a calming lilac colour scheme.
She met both Sonny Saunders and family, and Lisa and Liam Page, with their months old son Connor, who was born with severe brain damage. Speaking to the former, she said: “I’m always so blown away by families like yours, particularly having to go through all of this in lockdown. You show such resilience and bravery. You’re such an inspiration to us all.”
In a message to accompany a video of her visit, the Duchess gave thanks to hospice staff and families: “This Children’s Hospice Week, I’d like to thank the amazing staff for all the work that you do in children’s hospices around the UK. The care and the nurture that you provide children and families in the most unimaginable circumstances is just awe-inspiring.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to all those families out there who are caring for and looking after a child with a life-limiting illness. You do the most extraordinary job and I know it’s particularly hard at the moment, so my thoughts go out to you all.”
During her visit to The Nook, the Duchess also planted a sunflower in memory of Fraser Delf, from Huntingdon, having promised to do so in a video call with his family earlier in the week.
The Duchess, alongside HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, spoke with mum Carla, dad Stuart and 13-year-old brother Stuie, who raised over £16,000 for EACH by running 5k every day in May. The Duchesses expressed how amazing his achievement was and thanked him for all his hard work.
Carla said: “The call was very laid back. They were lovely and easy people to talk to. They told us their experiences of hospices, then asked us about our journey and a few questions. I felt very honoured that we had that opportunity to tell our story.” You can watch the call here.
Fraser sadly died of Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities, among other symptoms, on 17 January, 2020.
The family were introduced to us in October 2018 and spent the final weeks of Fraser’s life at our hospice in Milton.