The Earl of Wessex will visit a hospice in the Peak District to mark its quarter of a century of helping people in the surrounding community who are coping with life threatening illnesses. Blythe House Hospice in High Peak, Derbyshire will welcome Prince Edward as it celebrates its twenty five year anniversary and the impending royal visit is already highly anticipated.
The Earl will visit Blythe House Hospice on April 30th and will be shown around by its former director, Sheila Tyler. He will meet those being helped there as well as staff and volunteers at the house in the Peak District.
The new director of the hospice, Janet Dunphy, said she and all who worked at Blythe House are looking forward to welcoming Prince Edward at the end of the month when he will spend an afternoon with them. Janet Dunphy added that she wanted to show their royal visitor how ‘as a small organization we support the community of High Peak’. And she commented that everyone was thrilled to hear of the visit and that it was part of a ‘very special celebration of the 25th anniversary of Blythe House Hospice’.
Blythe House was founded in 1989 by Betty Packham after she was left some money in the will of a man she had helped care for when he was ill. Stan Blythe was a keen birdwatcher but slowly lost his sight as he got older. When he found out he was dying of cancer he was determined to make the most of his last few months and was cared for at home where he could hear his beloved birds sing. He left Betty Packham £1000 and she used that to start Blythe House to allow other people to spend the final phase of their lives in the same peaceful and supportive way as Stan. The hospice now offers a wide range of support for people in the High Peak area with life threatening illnesses.
The Earl of Wessex has two other engagements in Derbyshire on the same day. He will visit the North Lees Estate in the Peak District, a popular tourist destination which includes moorland, farmland and woods. He is also due to attend a gala concert at Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Along with his visit to Blythe House they are all sure to provide a day of special memories for the Earl of Wessex.
Photo credit: Yate Armadillo via Flickr