ESP is delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester has officially opened Sue Ryder’s new Thorpe Hall Hospice building in Peterborough.
The Duchess marked the occasion on Tuesday September 8 with a visit to the hospice in Longthorpe, during which she met staff, patients and families, and unveiled a commemorative plaque.
The Duchess was patron of the Thorpe Hall Capital Appeal raising the money needed to fund the new hospice building. This was her third visit to Thorpe Hall – she launched the appeal in March 2013 and returned a year later to see the progress of the appeal and building work.
This week’s official opening was her first opportunity to see the completed hospice building, which houses 20 private bedrooms all with en suite facilities, as well as new family areas and fully accessible gardens.
Her Royal Highness was greeted by the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor John Peach, Sue Ryder’s chief executive officer Heidi Travis and Thorpe Hall Capital Appeal chairman David Laing.
Thorpe Hall’s director Jane Petit then hosted the Duchess, taking her on a tour of the new building, which nestles behind Thorpe Hall’s 350 year old orchard wall.
Staff were introduced to the Duchess as she toured the building. She also met with patients and their families before heading to a garden party in Thorpe Hall’s grounds, attended by around 130 guests, including donors, supporters and volunteers.
After unveiling a plaque marking the occasion and being presented with a posy by Jessica Bacon, whose father was cared for at Thorpe Hall, the Duchess posed for photos with staff and volunteers.
Unveiling the plaque, HRH the Duchess of Gloucester, said: “I am delighted to be here to celebrate this really great day, the official opening of the new part of Thorpe Hall Hospice.
“Many a dream has come true thanks to the enormously hard work of the fundraising committee and incredibly generous donations from trusts, foundations, groups and individuals.
“Congratulations to all who have taken part.”