We were delighted to welcome HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to our Quidenham hospice earlier today, with our Royal Patron seeing for herself why the nook appeal
which she helped launch in 2014, is so vital.
The Duchess was greeted by some 40 flag-waving children from local primary schools, before being introduced to dignitaries and given a posy by four-year-old Nell Cork, whose brother Finnbar received care at Quidenham before sadly dying in August last year.
Her Royal Highness was then taken on a tour of the hospice by EACH Service Manager Jane Campbell, observing Isabella Benton and Amy Hewett, both six, and Bradley Jackson, 11, taking part in an art therapy session, as well as Paige Scott, four, using sensory equipment. She also took time to meet each child’s family, including Finnbar’s. (read all family stories here)
The Duchess spent the second half of her visit talking to staff and volunteers who work at Quidenham as they updated her on the nook appeal and our urgent need to raise funds.
The appeal aims to raise £10 million for a new purpose-built hospice – which will be known as the nook - at a five-acre site in Framingham Earl.
Our current Norfolk hospice was opened in 1991 and, due to the increasing numbers of children with life-threatening conditions and complex healthcare needs visiting Quidenham, the hospice has now outgrown its current site.
The new hospice, closer to the centre of the county, will help to provide more families with the same facilities as those offered by the charity’s hospices for Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk.
EACH Chief Executive Graham Butland said: “It was a pleasure for everyone at EACH to greet Her Royal Highness once again, on what was her first visit to our site in Quidenham.
“The Duchess was given a really good insight into the difficulties our staff and volunteers face as a result of Quidenham having outgrown its home, and the huge difference a purpose-built modern hospice will make to the care they can provide to so many families.
“The nook appeal will transform children’s palliative care across Norfolk and we’ve so far secured close to £5 million.
“We still have some way to go before the new hospice can be built, though, and we need continued help from individuals, trusts and events, and as much corporate and community support as possible.”
Since becoming Royal Patron in 2012, The Duchess of Cambridge has played a vital role in raising awareness and understanding of children’s hospice services across East Anglia and the rest of the UK.
She supported EACH last year by opening its shop in Holt and by attending a gala dinner at Houghton Hall, in addition to providing written messages of support on two occasions.