Ipswich: Hospice staff get ready for a very special day

IPSWICH: Invites are in the post, the entertainment is organised and a souvenir programme is being prepared.

The eyes of the world will soon focus on Ipswich as the town welcomes the Duchess of Cambridge - and staff at the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice’s Treehouse hospice are gearing up for a very special day.

Media from across the globe will descend on the town on Monday, March 19 when Kate gives her first public address at the official opening of the hospice in St Augustine’s Gardens, off Bixley Road.

As one of the newest members of the Royal family, Kate has already become one of the nation’s favourites - and the people of Ipswich are sure to give her an extra warm welcome in two weeks’ time.

And some lucky Star readers can be among the select few to be part of the historic event by securing their tickets by filling out the form below.

Simon Hempsall, head of EACH marketing and communications, said: “Preparations for Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge’s visit are well under way, including inviting families, supporters, volunteers and dignitaries to the event, creating a souvenir programme and organising entertainment for guests who will be outside in the hospice grounds.

“Awareness of EACH has increased dramatically since Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge became EACH Royal Patron.

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“We’ve seen an increase in calls from existing and new supporters who want to help, website hits and social media followers have increased and we’ve received much more EACH media coverage.

“The visit planned will be a great boost for all the children and families who use EACH services, as well as staff, volunteers and supporters and we’re delighted regional, national and international media want to share this very special moment with us.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said the visit would be a “great honour” for the town.

He said: “It will be an opportunity for us to highlight one way in which we are leading not only the UK but the world in the advanced care of sick children.”

n The Star will be printing this coupon again over the coming days so pick up a copy to be in with a chance to see Kate. No photocopies will be accepted.

n Are you looking forward to the royal visit? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk