Duke hails Norfolk projects

Two projects in Norfolk were given the royal seal of approval yesterday when the Duke of Gloucester cut the ribbons on a state-of-the-art school and a ground-breaking cancer care unit.

By LORNA MARSH and HAYLEY MACE

Two projects in Norfolk were given the royal seal of approval yesterday when the Duke of Gloucester cut the ribbons on a state-of-the-art school and a ground-breaking cancer care unit.

Accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, the duke was given a tour of the Big C Family Cancer Information and Support Centre based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before unveiling a plaque marking its royal opening.

The unique centre, which offers comfort, advice and one-to-one support to cancer sufferers and their loved ones in homely surroundings, has been up and running for a year but the duke officially declared it open yesterday.

It is designed so that patients or relatives can get advice from staff and volunteers in a non-clinical environment and in the company of their families.

The duke told dozens of assembled dignitaries, patients and staff that the advancement of medical science meant the emphasis had shifted from tending to patient's psychological needs to clinical treatment so centres like the Big C unit were invaluable.

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“It is such a shame that doctors with the expertise to cure disease don't have the time to do all the things they would like to for not only every patient but every patient's family and this is where this centre comes in.”

Daniel Williams, chief executive of the Big C, which supports cancer research and care services, wanted to stress the charity was a local one, raising money for the benefit of the people of Norfolk and Waveney.

“We will look to provide support across the spectrum of the fight against cancer,” he said.

The duke then went on to visit new facilities at Hobart High School in Loddon where he was welcomed by councillors, teachers and governors before being given a tour and unveiling a commemorative plaque.

The building work at the school, which started in November 2005, has provided it with a new sports hall and science, modern language and art blocks. Headteacher John Robson said: “It has been fantastic. The new sports hall has allowed us to convert the old gym into two new art rooms. This means there is more space to display work and the pupils have much more space to work in.”

Wyndham Northam, vice chairman of Norfolk County Council, said: “This is such a marvellous project and the money has clearly been well spent.”

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