Duchess of Gloucester visits St Raphael's hospice in North Cheam
The Duchess of Gloucester visited St Raphael’s Hospice in celebration of its 25th anniversary.
She visited the hospice on Tuesday, April 24, accompanied by Sir David Brewer, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.
Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester, is married to Prince Richard, the Queen’s cousin, who undertakes royal duties on behalf of the Queen.
On arrival the Duchess met with chairman, Dr Ron McKeran and sister superior, Sister Clare Joseph.
Her first stop was the sunflower garden outside the hospice where she looked at the 1,500 wooden sunflowers donated for the Sunflower Memories Appeal.
Supporters of the Hospice make a donation in memory of a loved whose names are written on the sunflowers throughout April.
After a tour of the hospice, the Duchess finished her visit in the day care centre where she cut a special 25th anniversary cake.
She said: “It’s a real pleasure to be back – it’s 12 years since I was here. I want to congratulate everyone for the great work you do. I wish the Hospice every success for the next 25 years.”
She also enquired as to who made the cake which was donated by Cakeology in Raynes Park.
The Duchess visited the hospice 12 years ago to open an extension which gave the Hospice four more beds.
Dr Ron McKeran, chairman, St Raphael’s Hospice, said: “We were very honoured that the Duchess found time out of her busy schedule to visit us and help us celebrate the Hospice’s 25th anniversary.”
Keith Witham, the director of fundraising, St Raphael’s Hospice, said: "On behalf of St Raphael's Hospice, we want to thank the Duchess of Gloucester for coming to see us here today.
"It was wonderful she took time to talk to staff and patients and help us celebrate our 25th birthday - for it was 25 years today that the Hospice received its first patient."