“It was incredible and a very magical, unforgettable experience” – five-year-old Grace and mum Rebecca have the chance to attend The Queen’s annual Christmas party at Clarence House

A brave five-year-old living with a rare genetic disorder had a day to remember after meeting The Queen.

Grace Howes receives care from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) at The Nook but was put forward for the special visit by her nurse specialist, Katrina Cousins, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.

It led to her being nominated by the Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity and having the opportunity to go to Clarence House, along with mum Rebecca.

Among many highlights during the annual party, Grace, who has type one Spinal Muscular Atrophy, helped decorate the royal Christmas tree, gave The Queen a card she had made at school, met Santa Claus and also got to see two of his reindeer, Dancer and Blitzen.

“It was incredible and a very magical, unforgettable experience,” said Rebecca, who lives in Old Catton, near Norwich.

“Grace also asked if Father Christmas had received her letter and The Queen assured her he had, saying ‘he always does’.”

Throughout their visit, the children were serenaded with Christmas carols performed by the Band and Bugles of The Rifles.

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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