East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) has announced that their Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, will visit and formally open The Treehouse- a hospice service for Suffolk and Essex run by EACH.
During the visit, The Duchess will tour the facilities including the sensory room and music room, and meet children and their families who receive care and support from EACH, as well as staff and supporters. A private tour of the bedrooms and care area will also take place.
Following the tour, Her Royal Highness will make her first public address, before planting a tree in the grounds of The Treehouse to commemorate her visit.
On Thursday January 5, 2012, the charity announced that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge accepted the honorary position of EACH Royal Patron. The Treehouse visit on Monday March 19 will be Her Royal Highness’s first public engagement as Royal Patron of EACH, and follows a private visit to the EACH Milton hospice in November last year.
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 £3 million 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. Short break care often had to be cancelled if end of life care was being delivered, but the design of the building means this is no longer the case.
During the visit Her Royal Highness will tour the extensive hospice facilities and learn first-hand the difference it has made to children and families who use the service. She will also meet with supporters who went to extraordinary lengths to raise funds.
Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said: “Everyone at EACH is honoured and extremely proud to have The Duchess of Cambridge as Royal Patron and delighted that she will be formally opening The Treehouse on March 19.
“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.
“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.”