The Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, today visited the charity’s new hospice ‘The Nook’ to officially open the building and to meet children and families being supported by EACH.
— Jade 🐥 (@dolly_birds85) November 15, 2019
Catherine travelled to Norwich via train today. Jade shared this video on Twitter.
EACH was one of the very first patronages Duchess took at the start of her new life as the member of the British Royal Family. She became the patron in 2012.
The outgoing chief executive Graham Butland talked about the Royal and her role with the EACH,
I feel as though we have grown up with her. I remember how nervous she was. It wasn’t just the 200 people in front of her, but the world’s press and TV and everything there. I’ve noticed how comfortable she has grown into her new position. In the very early days, I remember her coming into a room and her head would be slightly down and the long hair would be across. Now, she comes in with her head held high.
But she hasn’t lost the common touch. She can still empathize with the children and families who we care for. Whenever she comes — and with private visits without the gaze of the press — the feedback we get from families is tremendous.
If you’re a royal having to learn the common touch, is that more difficult than being a commoner having to learn the royal touch? She is so natural when I see her with children and families. This is not someone struggling to stay in character. That is her character.
From the families’ point of view, to have someone in her position on their side, if I can put it that way, has done so much for them. Thankfully, the vast majority will never ever need the services provided by EACH and other hospices. But for those that do, it can be a very lonely and isolated position to be in. To have someone like Her Royal Highness rooting for you and taking an interest in the challenges you are facing is something that is very comforting for them.
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) November 15, 2019
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk and supports their families. Their care service includes specialist nursing care, symptom management nursing, short breaks, wellbeing activities, therapies, counselling and volunteer services in the family home; all meeting the individual needs of the child, young person and whole family.
— Victoria Murphy (@byQueenVic) November 15, 2019
Upon arrival, Duchess was welcomed by a group of school children from Poringland School and Nursery and Hobart High Schools waving flags and a posy. The school helped in raising $1,300 for the Nook. Catherine was already in Mother mode today. While meeting the kids she saw Poppy Parslow-Williams shivering, she rubbed his arm and asked, “Are you cold?” She also met Stanley Harrold, who is 3 and has a rare chromosomal disorder, Pallister-Killian syndrome.
After a five-year public appeal to raise £10 million and two years of building work, EACH has now welcomed children, young people and families to The Nook, a purpose-built hospice in Framingham Earl near Norwich.
The Nook is the newest of three hospices, replacing EACH’s old hospice in Quidenham that 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 has seven bedrooms for children and young people, as well as accommodation for families to use for overnight stays. Its facilities include a sensory room, hydrotherapy pool, music studio, a haven, play areas, teenage room, dedication therapy rooms and many areas for family support groups, counselling and different activities. it also has a large outside space for children to explore and play.
The Duchess attended the launch of The Nook appeal in November 2014 that currently stands at £9,300,000 thanks to backing from hundreds of individuals, businesses and community organisations.
“We’re obviously very much looking forward to welcoming Her Royal Highness and are grateful for her support as our Royal Patron. Having helped to launch the appeal five years ago to the month, which is without a doubt the biggest project we’ve ever undertaken, this is a very fitting time for her to visit. The Nook has been a superb achievement by everyone here as well as all our volunteers and supporters across Norfolk, and even further afield.
There have been so many fantastic reactions from all those people, from fellow care professionals and, most importantly, after holding an open day attended by over 200 children, young people and family members towards the end of September, from those who access our care and support. I was fortunate enough to witness the joy and excitement of the first child through the doors here for care as they explored the soft play room, tried out the furniture and found their bedroom, with a personalised tray of favourite toys and activities, and it was incredibly moving.
I’ve no doubt the way we deliver care in future will take great steps forward and give us an opportunity to try out doing things differently.”
Catherine also visited the charity’s previous Norfolk hospice in Quidenham in January 2017, which served as a home-from-home for over 25 years, where she received an update on the appeal. The Nook still needs to raise £70000 that will ensure to complete fitting out of The Nook as planned. As such, EACH reopened Pave the Path, a campaign that aims to find sponsors of the red clay bricks that line the garden path at The Nook. Sponsors can have a name of their choice engraved over two lines – up to 15 characters on each line including spaces and punctuation. There are two options. Brick with black lettering is £100 and with gold lettering £150. Click here to be a sponsor.
The new building, which contains more areas for clinical care and dedicated therapy rooms, will allow EACH to meet the increased demand for its service and the ever-changing and more complex needs of those it cares for.
The Duchess of Cambridge undertook a tour of the facilities, including the hospice’s sensory room.
The mother of three spend time with kids and parents at the new facility hearing how it helped them. Richard Palmer reported, that during the visit, “She told one little girl: “I love your plaits. My little girl Charlotte loves plaits but her hair’s only this long so we have to do them at the top.”
The Duchess also visited the hospice’s main care area where she met families and children taking part in arts and crafts activities. From Victoria Murphy’s report,
“EACH gives us something that if we didn’t have we would really struggle. It’s like our family,” Naomi told T&C after the visit. Of the duchess, she said, “She did speak to us and spoke to me about Rupert. I unfortunately cried, so I got a little hug, and it was quite emotional. And at the end when she walked out, she gave me a little wave. Just simple things like just make you realize that she’s a very special lady.”
Naomi added, “She’s a mum herself and you get that sense of, she does understand…You get that impression of her when she speaks to you that this is something that means a lot to her.”
The charity’s outgoing Chief Executive Graham Butland shared with T&C how the duchess has been keen to be kept informed. “She was very keen to have regular updates as to how the building was going. Graham also noted how Kate has visited some of the families that the charity helps in their own homes as she continues her support behind the scenes. “She’s also made private visits to the hospice. She’s visited at least a couple of families in their own homes, all without publicity, not known etcetera,” he said.
She likes to get her hands messy, she likes to join in and do things. And it’s not put on, it’s just natural, he said. “These parents, they can spot a dud at 100 miles. They know people who are just patronizing…To have someone like that who actually really is interested and empathizes with them is tremendous.”
Catherine then joined a reception before making a short speech and unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening of The Nook. She was joined by kids for the unveiling of the plaque.
The full text of her speech.
Duchess’s first-ever public speech was also for EACH. A video of that speech.
“You have created here at The Nook a nurturing, caring environment that allows families who are going through the unimaginable the ability to spend precious quality time with each other.” — The Duchess of Cambridge @EACH_hospices pic.twitter.com/CTsZCPtnHp
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 15, 2019
Her today’s Speech.
A video of the visit.
The Fall 2015 collection suit contains a peplum jacket and Purple Skirt. She first wore it at the Guild of Health Writers Conference in February 2017. Last time we saw the suit in January this year when Duchess visited the Royal Opera House.
Catherine paired the outfit with her Gianvito Rossi Piper 85 suede pumps.
Duchess was carrying her Aspinal x Beulah Blue Heart Clutch.
Her Catherine Zoraida Gold Fern Hoop Earrings finished the look of the day.
Earlier when Duchess was seen arriving at the Norwich train station, she was carrying her Smythson Black Panama East-West Zip Tote
In other news, Miss Antonella Fresolone, Housekeeper to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Kensington Palace household will be receiving the Royal Victorian Medal next week.
Rebecca English from DailyMail also reported that Duchess of Cambridge’s Private Secretary Miss Catherine Quinn is leaving her job around this Christmas. Miss Quinn and Duchess are parting in an amicable way while Miss Quinn had developed a strong team for Duchess’ office to see her work. Miss Quinn joined the Cambridge position in October 2017. I very much hope to see Catherine Quinn back in the royal fold in future at some other position i.e. Director of Royal Foundation project or something like that.
Next, we will see the Duchess of Cambridge on Monday evening, when she will attend the Royal Variety Performance.