What could be more magical for a group of young children than to meet a real princess? That’s what happened this week when Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice paid a visit to Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice at Grace’s Place in Radcliffe, near Bury. Princess Beatrice was welcomed excitedly by local children, and presented with a bouquet of flowers by seven-year-old Takoda from Oldham.
Princess Beatrice is the Patron of Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, the charity which took over Grace’s Place in July this year. She has supported the charity since 2013, when she opened Russell House in Huddersfield, the home of Forget Me Not’s children’s hospice for West Yorkshire.
Children and families in Bury, Oldham and Rochdale have waited for a local children’s hospice for many years. Until now, the 650 children with life-shortening conditions in the area have had to travel great distances to access care, with some of them even choosing to cross the Pennines to Huddersfield to receive care and support at Russell House.
During her tour, Princess Beatrice spent time with local families who may benefit from Grace’s Place, including some who currently make the journey to Huddersfield. Following the royal visit, Forget Me Not hosted a special unicorn-themed tea-party at Grace’s Place for the children and their families.
Grace’s Place is named after six-year-old Grace Tinarwo from Rochdale. Grace’s mum, Sarah, said of the royal visit: “We were so excited to meet Princess Beatrice today – it means a lot that she came to see us. After all these years, we’re delighted that Grace’s Place is finally going to open. So many families like ours need access to quality children’s hospice care, and it’s going to make a big difference to our lives.”
Peter Branson, chief executive of Forget Me Not, said: “We’d like to thank Princess Beatrice for her ongoing commitment to us. It was great to be able to actually show her around and explain all our plans. We’re determined that our children’s hospice at Grace’s Place will be one of the best in the country – Russell House is already rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, putting it in the top one per cent of health and social care providers in the UK.”