A HOSPICE providing care for children with life-shortening conditions was given the royal seal of approval.

Princess Beatrice met children and their families who will receive vital care at Forget Me Not Children's Hospice.

Prince Andrew's eldest daughter is the royal patron of the charity, which runs the hospice at Grace's Place, in Dumers Lane, Radcliffe.

AS IT HAPPENED: Princess Beatrice's visit to Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Radcliffe

Grace's Place manager Kirsty Franks said: "The visit yesterday was on the request of Princess Beatrice herself.

"There is still lots to do but we will begin taking referrals for planned respite and emergency crisis care through our Hospice at Home service next month, with the aim to open officially next summer.

"We have got to start slowly because we are new. We want to make sure everything we do is of high quality. Our focus is on meeting the needs of children and families."

There will be five bedrooms, two parent suites, a hydrotherapy pool, sensory room, a complementary therapy room, counselling rooms and more to benefit children and their families in Bury, Oldham and Rochdale.

Mum Michelle Malone, from Bury, who has become a senior events volunteer at the hospice, said: "As a mum who has a child with a life-limiting illness, I am so excited for its future.

"I know friends in the area who desperately need provision like this.

"It is so exciting to see it nearing opening."

Forget Me Not Children's Hospice has just topped a £60,000 target to fund four nurses for six months.

The charity plans to open shops in the surrounding area early next year and will host events to create other funding streams.

Before the official opening next year, the charity must receive the go-ahead from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Their sister hospice in Huddersfield, Russell House, is rated 'outstanding' by the Government health watchdog.

Peter Branson, chief executive of Forget Me Not, said: "We intend very much to use our experience from Huddersfield but it is very important for us to create something that is right for this community.

"We are really proud of what we have achieved so far and it is very special to have Princess Beatrice come and visit us."