The Royal couple will spend the third day of their Australian tour in Sydney, visiting The Royal Easter Show and the Bear Cottage children’s hospice in Manly.
Their visit to Bear Cottage is designed to raise awareness of the children’s hospice, which is the only one of its kind in New South Wales and one of only two in Australia.
The hospice provides medical and end-of-life care to children suffering from life-limiting illnesses.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Blue Mountains west of Sydney yesterday.
They met residents from the town of Winmalee, which was devastated by bushfires last October, as well as Rural Fire Service volunteers and girl guides.
Bear Cottage was established in 2001 entirely through community support and donations.
Nursing Unit Manager at Bear Cottage, Narelle Martin, says the facility’s affiliation with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead allows them to provide some of the best medical care in the world.
“We’re the only children’s hospice in the world that is directly affiliated to a children’s hospital,” she said.
“The care that the kids can get here is fantastic.”
Dedicated staff aim to create a unique and holistic care program for the children.
The staff include a full-time play therapist, social workers, music and art therapists, registered nurses and a chef. There are also 80 trained volunteers that help in the house.
The team’s vision is to create a setting that is as far removed from a hospital environment as possible.
No uniforms are worn and they do not perform any medical procedures in the children’s bedrooms.
“Bear Cottage is like a Club Med for kids… it’s got everything that a child would want… there’s toys, Xboxes and PlayStations… the dog is always a hit,” Ms Martin said.
Royal visit itinerary – Australia
- April 16 – Sydney, NSW – Opera House reception
- April 17 – Blue Mountains, NSW – visiting bushfire-affected areas
- April 18 – Bear Cottage Sydney, NSW
- April 19 – Brisbane, Qld – RAAF base visit
- April 20 – Sydney, NSW – Easter Sunday church service
- April 21 – Canberra, ACT
- April 22 – Uluru, NT
- April 23 – Adelaide, SA – Meet young Australians at Northern Sound System
- April 24 – Canberra, ACT – Reception at Parliament House
- April 25 – Canberra, ACT – Anzac Day march and service at War Memorial