Hospice gets royal seal of approval

HRH The Duke of Gloucester
HRH The Duke of Gloucester

THE DUKE of Gloucester will be visiting St Michael’s Hospice to launch a new community initiative.

The 21st in line to the throne, will be coming to the hospice on April 16 to launch Hospice Neighbours, and will also unveil a new sculpture entitled Vol au Vent which was created by Ev Meynell and donated by James and Angela Sellick, of Pashley Manor.

During his visit, the Queen’s cousin will also be meeting some of the volunteers behind the new community outreach scheme, and learn about the work they will be doing.

Hospice Neighbours aims to place the hospice’s services at the heart of the community.

The scheme will be operated by local people volunteering their time to support those who are living at home with a life-limiting illness.

The volunteers will pledge regular hours to assist with everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping, daily chores, pet care or just dropping in for a cup of tea and a chat.

This is not the first Royal visit made by the Duke of Gloucester, as he last visited in 2008, at the time of the 21st anniversary, to plant the very first St Michael’s Hospice Rose.

Bred by Lionel Poole and sponsored in memory of the late Stuart Farndale, a long-standing supporter of the hospice, it still blossoms to this day in the hospice rose garden, and also in many gardens throughout Hastings and Rother.

The Duke of Gloucester is the second son of the late Duke of Gloucester and the late Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.

He is George V’s grandson and a first cousin of the Queen. He became heir to his father’s titles following the death of his brother, Prince William of Gloucester, in a flying accident in 1972.