Earl Mountbatten Hospice Press Release….


A children’s playground which has been created in memory of Sophie Rolf will be officially named the ‘Butterfly Garden’ at a special opening ceremony on December 14.

The playground, which has been funded by the Sophie Rolf Trust, KissyPuppy, is part of a programme at the Hospice to increase the services available to children and young people.

“It’s almost one year since Sophie passed away and we are extremely honoured to be celebrating her memory with the opening of the Butterfly Garden,” said Jo Blackburn, chief executive at Earl Mountbatten Hospice. “Everyone who donated to KissyPuppy – who in turn have funded the project – has played such an important part in making the playground a reality. Sophie was very enthusiastic about the idea when she was a visitor to the Hospice, and helped with some of the fundraising, which makes the project so very special.”

The Butterfly Garden will be opened by a very special guest on the day of the Hospice Christmas Fair, which takes place in the John Cheverton Centre. Along with children’s entertainers Dazzle and Fizz, who will be putting on a special Christmas show, there will be an appearance from Father Christmas and a chance for children to visit him in his grotto.

The new play area outside the Hospice’s John Cheverton Centre will feature equipment including a clatter bridge, wobble board, timber team swing, a spinning saucer and swinging steps.
“We want as many people as possible to come along on the day and share this special occasion,” said Jo. “This is a celebration and a tribute to Sophie’s strength and determination, and that of her family.”

The Butterfly Garden will be opened at 11am, and the Christmas Fair will continue until 4pm.

“The playground will be a lovely space for any child visiting the Hospice to enjoy,” said Sophie’s mum, Gemma. “Sophie would have loved it and we hope there are lots of children who will enjoy it for many years to come.

Personal statement

This project was the last that Sophie knew we were undertaking and to have achieved it in such a short space of time is a credit to all of those involved.

We openly invite all who would like to attend to please do so. The hospice Christmas Fayre starts at 1000 and there will be stalls, Father Christmas’ Grotto, a pantomime, ceramic and pottery painting, beauty treatments, Christmas dinners and so much more.
The playground itself will be opened at 1100 by Sophies big brother Jack and a very special guest.

We truly would like to see as many people as we can so that you may see the rewards to so much hard work. To see in physical form the love and support we have received and been shown by you all will hopefully be a wonderful reminder of how our little girl touched so many people hearts.

As always and forever we thank you from the bottom of our hearts

Aaron, Gemma & Jack xxx