Princess Beatrice will have been left heartbroken after a children's hospice revealed their plans to close. Grace's Place in Bury, whose patron is Princess Beatrice, was due to open officially on Friday. However, the hospice requires £1.2m a year to operate, and only a small fraction of that amount has been raised. Grace's Place, which was taken over by Huddersfield-based charity Forget Me Not in July 2017, opened in January for three days a week and alternate Saturdays for daycare.
Princess Beatrice is the patron of Grace's Place
Earlier this week, the official Twitter page of Forget Me Not wrote: "It is with deep regret that we have to announce that we have begun a consultation with our staff on a proposal to cease offering services from our children's hospice facility at Grace's Place in Bury." In a statement, Forget Me Not later said: "Despite the tremendous goodwill and support Grace's Place has received from the local community, the costs of providing high-quality care are rising and exceed the funds we are able to raise."
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"Combined with insufficient funding from the NHS, we have had a shortfall from depleting reserves - a position which is not sustainable long term," the message continued. "We do not underestimate the distress that the proposed closure will cause to families and deeply regret causing them any uncertainty and upset. We are creating a transport fund to enable families on our current caseload to access care and support either at our hospice, Russell House in Huddersfield, or at other children's hospices in the Greater Manchester area."
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The hospice supports more than 50 children and families with life-limiting conditions in West Yorkshire. In July 2013, the Palace confirmed Princess Beatrice had become a royal patron of the Forget Me Not Children's Hospice. She opened the hospice's new building just a month before, and was given the chance to meet the children and families that Forget Me Not work with. "It is an incredible honour to be here today to see this dream become a reality," she said at the time. "With all of your support I know this place can really be the pinnacle of child care, it's a huge honour to be here today."
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