Tapping House, Norfolk, welcomes The Queen and Jack, 9, hands her teddies for Prince George and Princess Charlotte
- Credit: PA
The Queen has met patients and bereaved relatives as she visited The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, that has recently only opened a new £3.4 million facility at Hillington near Kings Lynn.
During her visit to open the hospice, she met Jack Plummer, nine, from King’s Lynn, whose mother Amee Walton died from a brain tumour aged 29 in 2013.
He presented the Queen, who was wearing a teal Peter Enrione collared dress and coat with a Waterford brooch and hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, with two teddy bears - one for Prince George and one for Princess Charlotte - on behalf of bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey.
On tags attached to the bears, he wrote personal messages to George and Charlotte, saying: “Please look after this bear like Nelson’s Journey did to me.”
Jack explained that his mother was looked after by the charity’s Hospice at Home service.
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He added: “The Queen seemed really interested in the support I’ve had and said the prince and princess would appreciate the presents.”
The Queen also met patients carrying out activities at the hospice.
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They included Dorothy Palmer, 70, from Narborough, Norfolk, who was exercising on a treadmill at the time.
She said: “I have bone cancer and the exercise I do here has really helped improve my mobility.
“The Queen stopped by the treadmill and joked ‘that doesn’t look much fun’.”
Jean Gibson, 83, from King’s Lynn, also has bone cancer and was taking part in a tai chi session during the Queen’s visit.
She said: “It’s a real privilege to see the Queen taking an interest in the hospice.
“She seemed curious about what we were up to.”
Local firm Crane Garden Buildings donated the hospice’s new garden from a recent Chelsea Flower Show exhibit.
Peter Morton, from the company, said: “We’ve been working with a team of volunteers since May and completed the garden at the weekend.
“It’s been hard work but welcoming the Queen to see it makes it worthwhile.”
The Queen also met trustees, volunteers and medical professionals at the hospice.
Lyndsay Carter, chief executive at the hospice, said: “It was wonderful to welcome Her Majesty to the hospice and to be recognised for what we are achieving here.”
Since moving into the new hospice facility, Tapping House has significantly increased its care to patients and their families in the area.
Day patient therapies, home visits and bereavement services are provided and partnerships with the NHS, charities and other organisations have been developed.
Two years ago the hospice led an initiative to introduce the Hospice at Home service, which provides end-of-life hospice care and support in the patient’s home.
Since moving to Hillington this service has seen a 75% increase in patient referral rates.