GRANDCHILDREN was the topic of the day as The Prince of Wales chatted to patients at Cotswold Care Hospice.

The Prince, who is patron of the Minchinhampton-based charity, met patients, carers, staff and volunteers during the visit last week.

“He asked me how many grandchildren I had and when I said ‘three’ he joked I was doing better than he was,” said Val Marriott, from Tetbury.

Cotswold Care Hospice at Home nurses supported Mrs Marriott and her family so that her late husband, Richard, could die at home.

“Richard told me that he wasn’t afraid of dying but he wanted to maintain his dignity,” Mrs Marriott told The Prince of Wales.

“Cotswold Care Hospice achieved that and the nurses and care staff cared for Richard with dignity and compassion. He always felt better after a visit.”

The Prince of Wales also had a special ‘gift’ for patient Desmond Kyne – information about making icons. Mr Kyne, from Stroud, designs and creates icons and tapestries.

During his 90-minute visit, The Prince of Wales opened the charity’s new creative therapy extension.

The charity raised £55,000 to complete the new extension following a £116,000 Government grant for the project.

The Prince of Wales admired a new piece of art work which was the result of a community project involving children from Minchinhampton Primary School.

Over several weeks, the pupils worked together with day hospice patients to create a collage inspired by Monet’s garden and the youngsters were given the chance to explain their handiwork to the Prince.

“The Prince of Wales took time to speak with everyone and was so genuinely interested” said Jules Eaton, chief executive of CCH.

“We are honoured to have His Royal Highness as our Patron. It seemed only right that The Prince opened our new creative therapy extension, as he always enjoys visiting the art studio here at the hospice.”

HRH also visited the new therapeutic garden, meeting the sculptor Jim Milne who designed the central feature.