THE DUCHESS of Cambridge will officially open The Treehouse hospice for children in Ipswich on March 19.
The state-of-the-art facility was built following a successful campaign by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (Each) to raise £3 million to replace the former hospice bungalow which had become too small.
The Duchess, who was made Royal Patron of the hospice in January, will be given a tour of the facilities, including the sensory room and music room and will meet children and their families and staff and supporters.
She will also be given a private tour of the bedrooms and care areas.
Afterwards, the Duchess will make her first public address before planting a tree in the grounds of the building.
The Treehouse offers care to children from Suffolk and North Essex who have life-threatening conditions, providing respite breaks, specialist play activities, hydrotherapy and music therapy. It also provides care at the end of children’s lives and bereavement support for families.
Each also runs a 24/7 symptom support and advice service for children with life-threatening illness and complex health needs.
Last year, the charity helped 547 families at its three hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quiddenham.
Graham Butland, Each chief executive, said: “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’ 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.”