Suffolk: Kate set for hospice’s grand opening
PUBLISHED: 00:01 05 March 2012
THE Duchess of Cambridge is to pay an historic visit to East Anglia to show her support for a vital children’s charity, the EADT can reveal.
Kate will give her first-ever public address at the grand opening of the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Treehouse hospice in Ipswich on Monday, March 19.
The Duchess, who married Prince William last year, was made the Royal Patron of the charity in January and will be given a guided tour around the fantastic new facility, paid for, in part, by money raised by EADT readers through the Treehouse Appeal.
As a way of saying a huge ‘thank you’ for helping to raise the money for the hospice, the EADT and EACH are holding a ballot offering readers the chance to be at The Treehouse when The Duchess visits.
Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: “It’s really exciting news that The Duchess is coming to Suffolk to visit the children’s hospice, which our readers helped to raise so much money to build in such a short space of time.
“The Treehouse Appeal has been a really positive story all along – and this historic visit continues that. Also, it’s really appropriate that, through the ballot, some of our readers will have the chance to be in the grounds of the children’s hospice during Kate’s visit.’’
The Treehouse has revolutionised children’s hospice care across Suffolk and north Essex and was only made possible by the generosity of donors who supported The Treehouse Appeal and raised £3m in less than 12 months.
The previous EACH hospice in Ipswich was too small and unable to meet demand. Unlike the previous hospice, The Treehouse has a hydrotherapy pool and dedicated sensory and music rooms.
Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said everyone at the charity was “honoured and extremely proud” to have The Duchess as Royal Patron and delighted that she would be formally opening The Treehouse.
“This will be Her Royal Highness’s first public engagement as EACH Royal Patron, and children, families, staff and supporters are very much looking forward to the visit,” he said.
“The visit will showcase the magnificent facilities we can now offer to local life-threatened children and their families, and celebrate the supporters of The Treehouse Appeal – whose generosity made the dream of a specialist children’s hospice for Suffolk and north Essex a reality.
“Having our work recognised in this way by Her Royal Highness is not only a tribute to our staff and supporters, but a huge boost for the children, young people and families receiving our care and support.
“The Duchess’s support, including the visit on March 19, continues to help us increase the awareness and understanding of the full range of services we offer children and families, and really celebrates the great work being done by all children’s hospices across the UK.”
Following the tour, The Duchess will meet a number of supporters and plant a tree in the grounds.