Princess Beatrice, royal patron of the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Brackenhall, visited the centre on Monday, 19 December to bring festive cheer to the children and their families.
The princess came with goodiebags and cakes for the children and spoke out about the need to ‘think of a new word for hospice as this is so much more than that. It is a magical place.’
Beatrice was presented with a bouquet of flowers from nine-year-old Milly-May Dyson whose brother, Eric, tragically passed away from Edwards Syndrome at just three days old.
Claire Archer, Milly-May’s mother said ‘it was lovely to be able to speak with Princess Beatrice and she took a genuine interest in our story and my family’s journey with Forget Me Not…The care we have received from Forget Me Not has made a huge difference to our lives. They continue to help us immensely.’
One of the children the Princess spent time with was eight-year-old Gregor Munroe from Holmfirth. Gregor is provided with 24/7 care by the hospice’s home service after having contracted Swine Flu at just 16 months old which left him in a wheelchair, incapable of speech and at risk for seizures on a near constant basis.
Gregor’s mum, Mary, said of the royal visit, ‘It was a magical experience none of us will ever forget…to be able to speak with the Princess was great.’
She went on to say that ‘We treasure all the time we have together and Forget Me Not support us in so many ways, visiting us at home to allow us to also spend quality time with Gregor’s siblings while Gregor receives one-to-one attention from the care team who he loves.’
Chief Executive of the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Peter Branson, accompanied Princess Beatrice on her visit. Of their patron he said, ‘Princess Beatrice has been a wonderful supporter of our charity for over three years now…Quite simply, we are here to say ‘yes’ to every family who needs our support and being able to give them magical experiences like meeting a real princess was fantastic and they have all gone away with memories that will last a lifetime.’
The Hospice supports 250 children and their families and as they receive only a small portion of their funding from the government they rely heavily on community support.
To find out more about the charity and how you can help visit forgetmenotchild.co.uk.