TWO-year-old Emily Smith has carried on a 21-year tradition of Naomi House and Jacksplace paying its annual rent with red roses.
The youngster, who has Rett syndrome which is a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder, handed over the bouquet to the Cornelius-Reid family.
Every Midsummer’s Day when their rent is due, the hospice presents 12 red roses but seeing as this year they are celebrating their 21st anniversary, they decided to present 21 flowers.
The tradition dates back to 1997 when Mary Cornelius-Reid allowed a hospice to be built on her land near Winchester. The offer came with two conditions; the hospice be named after her youngest daughter Naomi, and that every Midsummer’s Day the hospice pay a peppercorn rent of 12 red roses.
Emily’s mum Amy said: ‘Naomi House helps us spend time together as a family.
‘When she’s here we know Emily is well-cared for, safe and happy. It was so nice that she was able to pay the rent this year.’
Mark Smith, chief executive, added: ‘I’m delighted that 21 years on, Naomi House and Jacksplace is going from strength to strength, reaching out to more medically complex children and young adults than ever before, and delivering innovative and impactful services.’
The hospice provides support and care for children and young adults across the south with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.