Duchess of Cambridge becomes Royal Patron of EACH

The Duchess of Cambridge has strengthened her ties with this region after it was announced that she will become the Royal Patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Officials spoke of their delight after it was announced that the Duchess will take up the honorary position for the charity, which has centres in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.

The new member of the Royal Family, who married the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, last April has taken on the role as part of a number of new patronages.

It comes after the Duchess made a private visit to the charity's hospice at Milton, near Cambridge, in November, to learn about the work of EACH.

Officials at the charity, which delivers care and support to life-threatened children and their families across four counties, hope the announcement will raise their profile and boost funds, which requires almost �5m of public donations a year.

They are also hoping that the Duchess will pay visits to their other hospices at Quidenham, near Attleborough, and Ipswich in the near future.

EACH will also be formally be invited to join The Princes' Forum, an initiative started by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry in 2006 to bring together their charitable interests.

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Graham Butland, EACH chief executive, said: 'EACH is honoured and extremely proud to have The Duchess of Cambridge as Royal Patron. Having our work recognised in this way 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 will 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.'

'We are also very excited to be one of only a select number of organisations to be invited to join The Princes' Forum and look forward to the many opportunities that will bring.'

The Duchess of Cambridge has also accepted roles as Patron of Action on Addiction, Patron of The Art Room, Patron of National Portrait Gallery and will become a volunteer in the Scout Association, which reflects her personal interests in the arts and the promotion of outdoor activity.

EACH delivers a wide and diverse range of care and support services including short break care, specialist play activities, music therapy, hydrotherapy, parent and sibling groups, care at end of life and bereavement support for all family members.

Recognised by the Duchess as a leader in their field, EACH's care and support also includes neonatal care pathway work, enabling parents to choose whether their babies are cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, hospice or at home.

The Duchess is the first Royal Patron of EACH, which opened its first hospice in Milton in 1989, which was followed by the Quidenham hospice in 1991 and a centre in Ipswich in 1999.

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