Norfolk

Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk for fundraising launch

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Media captionPupils from the local Queen's Hill primary school greeted the duchess

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a £10m fundraising drive to build a new children's hospice in Norfolk.

East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) - which has the duchess as its royal patron - hopes to build the new facility near Norwich.

The planned hospice at Framingham Pigot will replace its existing Norfolk hospice at Quidenham.

The Quidenham hospice is 23 years old and one of the oldest in the UK, with restricted facilities.

Planning permission for the new hospice was granted in June, but funds need to be raised before building work can begin.

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Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge spent about an hour at the Royal Norfolk Showground
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Image caption The duchess went without a coat and wore a red knee-length dress by Katherine Hooker

The duchess, who arrived at the Royal Norfolk Showground at midday, heard about the importance of the charity from staff and families during her visit.

Graham Butland, chief executive of EACH, said: "It's tremendous to have the support of our royal patron as we start on a long journey to raise a significant sum of money.

"The increasing complexity of the children that we are dealing with means that we really need a modern hospice in Norfolk for the 21st Century."

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Image caption The duchess met friends and staff of EACH while at the Norfolk Showground
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Image caption Catherine has bee patron of EACH since 2012

The new hospice will include a hydrotherapy pool and improved accommodation and play areas.

It is due to be built on a five-acre (two-hectare) woodland plot south of Norwich.

EACH runs other hospices in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk as well as offering services in Essex.

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