Queen Camilla visits Charlton Farm

Her Majesty the Queen visited Charlton Farm children’s hospice before Christmas

A small number of children, families, staff and supporters were delighted when Her Majesty the Queen paid a visit to Charlton Farm children’s hospice in North Somerset on Thursday 14 December.

Her Majesty, Royal Patron of Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), was taken on a tour of the children’s hospice by co-founder and CEO Eddie Farwell, Patricia Morris, chair of trustees along with Charlton Farm’s head of care Karen Greaves and medical director, Emma Heckford.

The tour included meeting children and families supported by the hospice, a small number of long-serving members of staff and trustees, as well as some longstanding supporters of the charity from the local area.

Her Majesty observed staff provide a music therapy and a hydrotherapy session – activities that are firm favourites at Charlton Farm. 

During her tour, Her Majesty signed a piece of artwork which had been created by some of the children and young people. Her Majesty also joined one-year-old Frankie and her mum Lauren to switch on the Christmas tree lights and then gave out royal decorations to children for the hospice’s Christmas tree.

Her Majesty hands out Royal decorations
Her Majesty presenting a Christmas decoration to five-year-old Billy Priestly. Photo credit: Lisa Victoria Photography

As Royal Patron of CHSW since 2015, Charlton Farm was the last of CHSW’s three children’s hospices in the region for Her Majesty to visit. 

Reflecting on the day, Eddie Farwell said, “It’s just been a fabulous day, not only has the sun shone but her radiance shone through in the way she greeted every child, every member of their family, our supporters, staff, everyone here, she really does have the personal touch.”

For Lauren and Matt Stevens Charlton Farm has been a lifeline for their family during their son Nolan’s short life and since his death when he was just under three months old. 

Matt said, “This place took the weight off our shoulders and brought us a lot of light in some of our darkest days.”

Reflecting on her time with Her Majesty as they turned the Christmas tree lights on with one-year-old Frankie, mum Lauren said, “She was so kind and she was very understanding, and very special to talk to.”

Main image credit: Her Majesty receiving a posy from seven-year old Ryleigh Godfrey. Photo credit – Lisa Victoria Photography

About Charlton Farm

Charlton Farm opened to families in 2007 and is currently supporting almost 200 children and young people from the local area living with life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses; meaning that it is unlikely they will live into adulthood. 

The hospice provides a range of support including day visits and overnight stays for the whole family at the hospice itself, home visits, 24-hour telephone support, emergency stays, symptom management, dedicated support for siblings, end of life care and bereavement support.