The Duchess of Gloucester returned to Peterborough’s Thorpe Hall Hospice - a year after launching its £6 million fund raising appeal.
And her return, on Wednesday, heralded the news that the appeal had already exceeded £2million.
During her visit to the hospice, in Longthorpe, the Duchess spent time meeting members of the hospice’s day services centre, chatting to staff and viewing the building work that has happened over the last year.
Her visit came on the day it was announced the appeal total had reached £2,104,142.
The Duchess, who is the patron of the £6 million appeal to fund the building of a new state-of-the-art hospice at Thorpe Hall, was greeted on her arrival by Mayor of Peterborough Councillor June Stokes, Mayoress Karen Gates and the chief executive of Sue Ryder, Heidi Travis.
Hospice manager Philip Ball took the Duchess on a tour of the West Wing of the hospice which has undergone a raft of refurbishment work over the last year.
The wing is currently used by the day service centre, providing a hub for activities and therapies for those with long term conditions.
She met a number of people who use the service and spent some time admiring paintings and discussing baking tips.
The Thorpe Hall shop was the next stop on the Duchess’ tour.
She spent time browsing the rails and chatting to staff and volunteers.
On her way back she was shown the camellia that she had tenderly planted at the launch last year and which is thriving and will take pride of place at the entrance of the new hospice once it is built.
The Duchess also met and chatted with nurses and auxiliaries before being introduced to appeal board chairman David Laing.
Mr Ball said: “The Duchess was very interested to see the work that has already been done here at Thorpe Hall.
“She spent some time talking to those who are already using the new facilities and wished us well as we continue our fundraising over the coming months.
Mr Ball added: “Her visit couldn’t have come at a better time as we announced we had hit, and in fact surpassed, the £2 million mark which is a huge boost for everyone involved.
“As ever we owe our thanks to everyone in the area who has supported us and who continues to do so.”
The new state-of-the-art hospice will be built adjacent to the current 17th century Thorpe Hall. The single storey building will boast 20 private, en suite rooms, all with individual garden access.
Mr Ball said: “The new Thorpe Hall will be a blueprint for hospices for generations to come.”
For details about Thorpe Hall and the £6 million appeal visit www.thorpehall.org