Video: Duchess of Cambridge to launch £10m appeal for new EACH hospice the nook
- Credit: PA
The Norfolk Showground will be the centre of worldwide media attention today when the Duchess of Cambridge launches a £10million appeal for East Anglia's Children's Hospices.
Backed by the Eastern Daily Press, EACH wants to build and equip a new hospice in the heart of Norfolk called the nook.
In a message on the eve of her visit, the Duchess, who is the patron of EACH, spoke of her pride at being involved in the charity which supports children with life-threatening conditions and their families.
She said: 'I greatly admire the dedication, generosity and achievements of the charity's supporters and volunteers, and look forward to seeing the progress of this campaign.'
There will be nearly 700 guests at the showground launch, which is being mainly funded by sponsors, including supporters of the charity and dignitaries from across the county.
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There has been huge media interest with applications for passes from nearly 60 TV, radio and newspaper organisations.
The Duchess will meet families of children who have been helped by the charity when she arrives today.
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Chief executive of EACH, Graham Butland, said: 'We're really excited about the launch of the nook appeal today and it's great to be able to share our vision publicly. Everyone at EACH is honoured and extremely proud to have the Duchess of Cambridge as Royal Patron and delighted she is able to join us today as we share our vision for the nook.'
Demand on EACH's services is growing and its current Norfolk base – a country house in Quidenham – doesn't have the room to expand.
Mr Butland said: 'Quidenham is one of the oldest hospices in the UK and has provided an incredible home-from-home to many families for more than 20 years.
'However, care for children and young people during this time has become far more complex and we are rapidly outgrowing the constraints of this building.'
The hospice has planning permission for buildings on a five-acre site in Framingham Earl, images of which we are publishing for the first time today.
'This appeal is the biggest fundraising challenge EACH has faced to date,' Mr Butland said.
'We are asking individuals, companies, schools and communities to be part of this special project and need everyone to organise events and activities, make donations and help us raise the public awareness required.
'I have every faith that, together with our supporters, we will rise to the challenge.'
The launch event will be hosted by EACH vice-president and former BBC and ITV newsreader Martyn Lewis.
Families helped by EACH whom the Duchess will meet include Leigh Smith, whose daughter Beatrice was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called restrictive cardiomyopathy in January this year when she was two months old.
Beatrice spent the next six weeks at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Her mum said: 'It became clear that Beatrice was dying and would be unlikely to survive long enough or be strong enough for a heart transplant.
'We knew our little girl was just too tired and could fight her battle no longer.
'EACH made arrangements for Beatrice to travel home to Norfolk and we met her at the Quidenham hospice. She arrived in a Moses basket and had her own room with her name on the door and was cared for with such respect and dignity.'
We will have the best possible coverage from the royal visit.
Our website will have reports and pictures during the day and our reporters will be tweeting updates.
An emotional video of the launch will be posted on our site at lunchtime and don't miss tomorrow's paper for a full round-up from a day to remember.
Readers will be able to buy all pictures which are taken.
Are you raising funds for EACH? Email firstname.lastname@example.org