Happy memories are being created at Manly’s Bear Cottage with a visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the children’s hospice on Friday.
The visit to the palliative care hospice in Manly is of special importance to the duchess, who is the royal patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices in the UK and visited Rainbow Place, a similar facility in New Zealand.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his wife Margie and new NSW Premier Mike Baird welcomed the couple to Bear Cottage, one of only two children’s hospices in Australia. The other is Hummingbird House in Brisbane.
“Part of Bear Cottage is about creating happy memories for children whose lives are shortened, and this is certainly going to create a very happy memory for those families,” the centre’s nursing unit manager, Narelle Martin, told AAP.
“To the families it means a lot to them – a really memorable memory.”
The duke and duchess have different events in the hospice, including arts and crafts, and music therapy sessions. They’ll enjoy afternoon tea with families.
Bear Cottage can house up to eight children and their families. Its facilities includes two private two-bedroom apartments.
Since the cottage opened 12 years ago, it has been a second home for the families of many dying children.
The children come for respite for a week at a time, or for longer if they’re at the end of their illness.
Later on Friday, the duke and duchess will watch a surf lifesaving display at nearby Manly beach.