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Countess of Wessex opens Stockton hospice

Countess of Wessex chatting to a patient at Butterwick.

Countess of Wessex chatting to a patient at Butterwick.

The Countess of Wessex was on hand on Thursday 6th November to officially open the first specialist facility for young adults with life limiting illnesses in County Durham and Teesside.

The Butterwick Hospice, which is in Stockton, looks after around 2000 patients a year and on The Countess of Wessex’s visit to the hospice she praised staff and volunteers for this amazing feat. The Countess also met with many visitors as well as the founder of Butterwick Hospice, Mary Butterwick, who now regularly uses her own creation.

As is usual practice for a Royal opening, Sophie was on hand for the plaque unveiling after which she spoke to the gathered crowd, “I want to extend my thanks to all those involved in the creation, not only of the original hospice but also recognising the need to extend the services so you can look after those who, unfortunately, quite often fall through the stools of children’s care and adults care. You are making such a difference to their journeys so I thank you very much indeed.”

Mrs Butterwick, who worked tirelessly to launch hospices in Stockton, spoke of Sophie’s visit to her hospice, “I thought Sophie was lovely, I didn’t expect her to have any edge on her, but she was so relaxed and so ordinary. I hopefully will die here. There’s nothing to be frightened of in death and there is nothing to be frightened of coming to a hospice.”

The Countess of Wessex also got the chance to speak with families of patients on her visit to Butterwick House, which offers respite care to older teenagers and young adults.

Countess of Wessex signing the Butterwick House visitor book

Countess of Wessex signing the Butterwick House visitor book

On her whistle-stop tour of the North-East, The Countess of Wessex also dropped by County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service’s new Headquarters in Belmont after which she concluded her visit to the region by stopping off at the Stadium of Light.


Photo Credit: Lucy Richardson @NEchoLucy

Featured Photo Credit: ORBIS


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