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Prince Charles and Camilla

Britain’s Oldest Hospice Granted Royal Status

Founded in 1891 by Colonel William Hoar, Trinity Hospice was established to care, in his words, “for the man who is neither curable nor incurable, but simply dying”. The Queen Mother served as its Royal Patron for 76 years. The Duchess of Cornwall became the Royal Patron in July 2006. Trinity Hospice is one of four hospices Her Royal Highness serves as Royal Patron. She also supports other health-related charities such as Arthritis Research UK, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, and The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

The Duchess of Cornwall became the Royal Patron of Trinity Hospice in July 2006.

The Duchess of Cornwall became the Royal Patron of Trinity Hospice in July 2006.

The hospice name will change later this year to Royal Trinity Hospice to reflect the continued Royal Patronage and Royal status granted along with Camilla’s support. The current chief executive, Dallas Pounds expressed the great honour it is for Trinity to have HRH on their team. “We are thrilled to have been granted such an honour. It is a lovely testimony to our long Royal patronage, from the Queen Mother and now HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.”

The main facility in Clapham south London has 28 beds. It will still continue to provide in-patient care to the dying. The Hospice also serves as an out-patient care service, its 24 shops located throughout west and south London provide physiotherapy, art therapy, reflexology and massage and emotional support and welfare advice. Its newly refurbished shop in Belham re-opened its doors on Saturday.

Caring for those in the last days of their lives and their families is an expensive undertaking. Annually, it costs £10 million to keep the hospice going. One-third of this income is given by NHS. The rest raised through charitable donations, its charity and other legacy funding.

Along with supporting health-based charities and organisations, the Duchess of Cornwall also works to increase awareness on an assortment of other issues. Being an avid reader herself, she is an active advocate for literacy. She either serves as Royal Patron or President for Cornwall-based charities, type 1 diabetes and research, sexual assault, cancer, animal welfare, the arts and heritage and those in need.

Photo credit: Jasonpj via Flickr