Left to right: volunteer Bob Peters; clinical staff Maria Harris, Fiona Smith and Debbie Williams; and fundraiser Matt Reay.
Five members of the team at our Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice travelled to Buckingham Palace to attend His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration.
For 32 years, HRH The Prince of Wales has been Patron of Gloucestershire’s only hospice with inpatient beds: our Leckhampton Court Hospice in Cheltenham.
Five lucky members of the hospice were invited to attend the event in the gardens of Buckingham Palace where they celebrated The Prince of Wales' Patronages and military affiliations, as well as others involved in charities supported by The Prince.
"A surprise and privilege"
Volunteer of ten years Bob Peters; Head of Clinical Services Debbie Williams; Inpatient Unit Nursing Assistant Maria Harris; Sister and Practice Education Facilitator Fiona Smith; and Events Fundraiser Matt Reay all attended to represent their Sue Ryder colleagues at Leckhampton Court.
They joined fellow guests at the garden party with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, and newlyweds The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“We are extremely proud and grateful to have HRH The Prince of Wales as our patron," said Head of Clinical Services Debbie. "We were thrilled when we received an invitation for five members of our hospice team to join this very special celebration. It is a great privilege.”
“It was a real surprise when I was asked to attend," Events Fundraiser Matt added. "Everyone here works so hard to make sure we can give the best care we can to local people and their families, so it’s a really big honour to represent our hospice.”
"The Prince's visits always lift patients' hearts"
Elise Hoadley, Hospice Director at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, said: “His Royal Highness has been coming to us for over 30 years as our Patron and we are very thankful for his support.
"The Prince’s kindness and gentleness to our patients means so much, and his visits always lift people’s hearts at what can be a very difficult time for them. Everyone at the hospice sends their best wishes to His Royal Highness as he celebrates his 70th Birthday, with huge thanks and gratitude for his support.”
"There was such a buzz in the air"
"It was the most perfect day to celebrate our Patron His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ 70th year in the stunning grounds of Buckingham Palace in such glorious sunshine," enthused Debbie. "I am extremely honoured to have enjoyed this very special occasion with four fellow team members from our hospice.”
"The sun shone down on the nation as we celebrated the marriage of Harry and Meghan at the weekend and it has continued to shine on their Royal Highnesses at today’s magnificent garden part," reflected Matt. "It was a very proud moment for us all, being there representing the great work we do at Sue Ryder, and it couldn’t have been a better day with not a cloud in the sky.”
"There was such buzz in the air in the Palace gardens," said Inpatient Unit Nursing Assistant Maria. "The sun shone, and everyone was smiling and happy. We met many people from some wonderful organisations and charities who help make our country great. It was a real honour to be there representing my colleagues at Sue Ryder.”
"I’m very proud to be part of Sue Ryder, and I am very proud and happy to have been invited to attend this special Royal celebration," volunteer Bob said. "Everything about today has been fantastic. The warm welcome, the food, the music, the wonderful organisation and seeing His Royal Highness talking to so many people.”
"It was a wonderful day we will never forget," agreed Sister and Practice Education Facilitator Fiona. "We'll be sharing our stories and photos with the patients, families, volunteers and colleagues back at our Sue Ryder hospice.”
About Leckhampton Court Hospice
As the only inpatient specialist care unit in Gloucestershire, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court has 16 beds giving expert inpatient palliative care.
Alongside its Hospice at Home, day hospice and family support services, it cares for people aged 18 and over living with conditions like cancer, and other long term conditions like heart failure, lung disease, Motor Neurone disease and other neurological disorders.
Leckhampton Court care services