The Duchess of Cambridge visited The Nook, the East Anglia Children’s Hospice’s purpose-built hospice in the Norfolk area, on Thursday to help families plant a garden.
Kensington Palace noted that Kate used plants that she’d purchased at the Fakenham Garden Centre the week prior and that she “worked alongside an EACH volunteer gardener to plant a garden that will provide enjoyment for children and families.”
The Duchess joined volunteers, including youngsters Connor Page and Sonny Pope-Saunders and their families, in planting the new garden area is built onto a patio area that will help children and families find shade and enjoyment outside while staying at the hospice.
Sonny’s mother, Kelly, told reporters afterwards: “It was so nice to see her – and in such a lovely dress too – getting stuck in. She’s so down to earth; the kids really loved doing the gardening and planting with her.”
Kate revealed that her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, have planted sunflowers and that Prince Louis’s is winning the growing race. “The children are really enjoying growing their sunflowers. Louis’s is winning so George is a little grumpy about that!”
One of the flowers the Duchess of Cambridge planted on Thursday was in honour of Fraser Delf, a young boy who passed away earlier this year, and whose brother she spoke to at the beginning of the week via Zoom call.
On that call, alongside The Duchess of Cornwall, Kate promised Stui Delf that she would plant a flower in his brother’s memory. Stui has been fundraising for EACH and has raised over £16,000 so far.
Kate also recorded a message for EACH as Children’s Hospice Week ends, saying: “This Children’s Hospice Week, I’d like to thank the amazing staff for all the work that you do in the children’s hospices around the UK. The care and the nurture that you provide children and families in the most unimaginable circumstances is just awe-inspiring.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to all those families out there who are caring for and looking after a child with a life-limiting illness. You do the most extraordinary job, and I know it’s particularly hard at the moment, so my thoughts go out to you all.”
The acting CEO of EACH, Tracy Rennie, said of Kate’s visit: “It was very exciting, as ever, to have The Duchess pay us a visit. She has done so much to raise awareness of EACH and children’s hospices across the country, so we were delighted at this further show of support during this year’s Children’s Hospice Week.
“She displayed her usual kind, compassionate and empathetic nature, and although it was a very hot day, she, together with the families, Val our volunteer gardener and staff worked well and created a beautiful area full of sensory plants. Patio gardens such as this have various therapeutic values, so I’m sure it will be appreciated by others who have a chance to enjoy it.
“We’re privileged to have the continued support of The Duchess. We know the families we support have been and continue to go through particularly tough times at the moment, and at EACH we’ve had to rapidly adapt how we deliver care and support, whilst managing a considerable hit to our funding, so The Duchess’s support is a very welcome and much-appreciated boost.”