“It was lovely to meet people who are caring for children at the most profound moments of their lives and who put them at the centre of all they do” – Dame Ruth May, England’s Chief Nursing Officer, is given a special tour of The Treehouse

Dame Ruth May said it was a “real joy” to learn more about the work of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) during a special tour of The Treehouse. England’s Chief Nursing Officer was given a guided tour of EACH’s Ipswich base by Director of Care Pól Toner, Care Manager Sacha Parry and Matron Hattie Warriner.

She heard about different aspects of the care provided by all the multidisciplinary teams that work within the hospice, including being shown the bedrooms used by children, young people and families. She also saw the hydrotherapy pool, family accommodation, sensory room and fundraising office, as well as trying a new piece of equipment in the music therapy room.

There was a lovely moment when a child receiving care responded positively to Dame Ruth playing in tandem with Music Therapist Ray Travasso. It was a perfect illustration of the way music can be used to connect with children. Dame Ruth also spent time in the main care area before taking a stroll through the hospice’s woodland grounds.

She said: “It was a real joy to visit The Treehouse, especially during Children’s Hospice Week. It was lovely to meet people who are caring for children at the most profound moments of their lives and who put them at the centre of all they do. It was wonderful to see their passion, dedication and commitment.

“The hospice is a place that people make their home, for however long or short that may be, and it’s simply beautiful.”

The tour coincided with the first day of Children’s Hospice Week – a national awareness week that began yesterday and runs until Sunday (25th June). It started with a brief overview of the service provided at The Treehouse, which supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Suffolk and North Essex.

Other highlights included finding out more about play therapy and she met members of staff and volunteers along the way, including finding out more about Help at Home volunteering. Care Manager Sacha said: “It was such a lovely visit and a real pleasure to meet Dame Ruth.

“As a team, we’re so proud of the care and support we provide and this gave us a golden opportunity to showcase the great work that goes on. Dame Ruth showed such interest and had some very kind and supportive words, which was much appreciated by everyone.”

Notes to Editors

“EACH has made us all feel part of an extended family and, thanks to staff and fellow families, we’re not alone with problems. We always leave The Treehouse feeling positive, stronger and thankful.”

  • We care for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.
  • We offer families flexibility and control over where they receive their care and support, including where their child dies – at home, in hospital or at one of three hospices at Milton (Cambridge), The Nook (Norfolk) and The Treehouse (Ipswich).
  • Our family-centred approach includes specialist nursing care, symptom management support, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies and counselling, all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
  • We are recognised as leaders in our field, with a reputation for excellence and commitment to pioneering development and innovation.
  • We rely on voluntary donations for the majority of our income and this year need to raise £5.8 million from fundraising and £6.5 million in income from our shops. The year before the pandemic we received just 16% of our total income from statutory sources.
  • EACH Royal Patron –Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
  • For more information about EACH, including forthcoming events and how you can help raise funds,visit each.org.uk or call our Suffolk fundraisers on 01473 917965.

Keep in touch:


For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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