The Queen officially opened a local hospice facility – Tapping House at The Norfolk Hospice – yesterday, and during her visit she received teddies for her great-grandchildren, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
Her Majesty officially opened the facility, a new £3.4 million building for patients at Hillington just a few miles from Sandringham. Here, she spent time talking to staff of the facility and families of those treated there, including nurses Sarah Wallis and Daniela Reynolds, as well as Jack Plummer, nine, who lost his mother Amee Walton in 2013, due to a brain tumour.
The Queen grinned when she received two teddy bears for George and Charlotte, on behalf of bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey, from young Jack. She called the gifts ‘very kind’.
Tags on the teddies said: ‘please look after this bear like Nelson’s Journey did to me. From Jack’. The one for the Prince is in blue ink and the one for the Princess is written in pink.
He said: “The Queen seemed really interested in the support I’ve had [from the hospice] and said the Prince and Princess would appreciate the presents.”
Tapping House was clearly needed in the area, as the service has seen a 75% increase in patient referral rates. Two years ago the hospice led an initiative to introduce the Hospice at Home service, which provides end-of-life hospice care and support in the patient’s home; this is what Jack’s mother received.
During a tour, the Monarch met patients carrying out activities to help with their treatment and well-being. These include Dorothy Palmer, 70, from Narborough, Norfolk, who was exercising on a treadmill at the time. She said “I have bone cancer and the exercise I do here has really helped improve my mobility”.
The Queen stopped by the treadmill and joked with her ‘that doesn’t look much fun’.
Her Majesty also met Jean Gibson, 83, from King’s Lynn, who also has bone cancer and was taking part in a tai chi session as she visited. She said: “It’s a real privilege to see The Queen taking an interest in the hospice.”
As Accession Day – 6th February – approaches, we expect to see Elizabeth return home to London on Monday. She traditionally spends the day at Sandringham before leaving Norfolk after her Christmas break.
A member of the Company, Peter Morton said: “We’ve been working with a team of volunteers since May and completed the garden at the weekend. It’s been hard work but welcoming The Queen to see it makes it worthwhile.”
CEO Lyndsay Carter, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Her Majesty to the hospice and to be recognised for what we are achieving here.”