Thursday, 21 October 2021

'Royals' support £5m hospice appeal

HENLEY has had another royal visit and this time the whole family came.

HENLEY has had another royal visit and this time the whole family came.

Four Lego busts of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a special appearance at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Upper Market Place.

Only Princes Charles and George were nowhere to be seen.

The statues, which were on loan from Legoland, were on show at a community launch evening for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service last night (Thursday).

The charity is building a new hospice at White Waltham, near Maidenhead, and construction work will start this year.

Last night, the plans were on display and TV antiques expert Jonty Hearnden hosted a silent auction featuring works by Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin and Salvador Dali.

Mr Hearnden said he thought the busts were “really quite cool” and had an uncanny likeness to the royals. “They certainly added character to the event,” he said. “It’s not just children who will be amazed, adults will like them as well.”

He added: “It’s really important that people are aware of this charity because it’s the worst-case scenario for a parent to lose a child.”

Amanda Collins, the charity’s trusts and foundations fund-raiser, said: “We’re delighted that the ’royals’ found time in their busy schedules to visit us in Henley.”

She urged people to visit the gallery and find out more about the charity and the hospice project.

There will be activities and events, such as face painting, a toy sale, children’s tombola and music, from 10am to 4pm every day until Sunday. The public can bid for the artworks.

Mrs Collins, who lives in Greys Road, Henley, said: “The hospice is so local to Henley and we’re already helping families in the area.”

The Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service was established in 2007 by Fiona and John Devine in memory of their son Alexander, who was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour when he was just four and died four years later.

The new hospice will cost £5 million. Thanks to previous fund-raising efforts and donations over the past year, including the site, the charity has already raised £3 million.

The hospice will have six bedrooms for children, together with accommodation for parents and families.

The charity is still appealing for funds. For more information or to donate, visit

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