ROYAL patron of Children’s Hospice South West, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, recently attended a special service of thanksgiving.

The service was in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the charity by CEO Eddie Farwell and his late wife, Jill.

Eddie said: “The patronage of HRH the Duchess of Cornwall is a great privilege for our charity and we feel greatly honoured that the Duchess has been able to attend this very important event.”

The service was in honour of all those who have contributed to the charity over the 25 years since being founded; from supporters who have given their name and money to the hospice, hospice staff who have given their special care to the children and families, and to the children and families who use the hospice, including bereaved families.

Over 700 people attended the service held at Exeter Cathedral, which began with a procession from families and children representing each of the charity’s three hospices, including Little Harbour in Cornwall. Members of Little Harbour’s care team and fundraisers from the local community also attended.

After a welcome and prayer from the Very Reverend Jonathan Draper, Dean of Exeter, and introduction from the long standing trustee of the charity, the venerable Trevor Lloyd, Eddie spoke of his personal journey in creating the charity following his own experiences of caring for life-limited children.

As the guest of honour, the Duchess was invited to light candles in remembrance of those children who have died over the years during the charity’s service, as well as a dedication to the continuous support the hospice provides to children and families across the South West.

Following singing from the Mousehole Male Voice Chour and the charity’s own Little Harbour choir, the service came to its conclusion with a blessing from the Bishop of Exeter.

Children’s Hospice South West is now caring for more children and families than ever before, and has recently been supporting over 2,000 children and family members across the region.

The Duchess became patron of CHSW in 2014, following a visit to the charity’s Little Harbour hospice the previous year.