Catherine and Camilla send notes praising ‘incredible staff’ for Children’s Hospice Week

To launch Children’s Hospice Week, The Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall have issued messages supporting the families and charity workers in the hospice care sector.

This year Children’s Hospice Week is from 21-27 June and is organised by the UK’s umbrella charity for children’s palliative care, Together for Short Lives.

Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, with children supported by both charities that were invited to decorate the Christmas tree and meet reindeer at Clarence House: Helen and Douglas House

The Duchess of Cornwall’s letter reads as follows: “Once again, it is Children’s Hospice Week, so I wanted to send a message to all the families across the country who are caring for terminally ill babies, children and young people. You face enormous, heart-breaking challenges and you are much in my thoughts and prayers.

“I also wanted to thank the brilliant staff and volunteers who work wonders to help short lives to be lived to the full, creating precious memories and providing comfort and support to all those who come through your doors.’

The Duchess of Cambridge’s letter focuses on thanking the ‘UK’s 54 children’s hospices and their incredible staff’ and reads as follows: “The last year has been a difficult one for everyone, and especially tough and frightening for families with seriously ill children. Many started shielding long before others, worrying about the pandemic and what it might mean for their child.”

‘The theme for this year’s Children’s Hospice Week is ‘Pushed to the Limits’, recognising the tremendous strain these families face, and why the care and support of their local children’s hospices is needed now more than ever.

“Children’s hospices are a lifeline, and I have been privileged to see first-hand the remarkable work they do. They give families the care and time they need to make treasured lifelong memories – the chance to be parents, not carers. Vitally, they are also there when it is time to say goodbye, making sure a family has privacy and dignity so they can grieve together, and are able to receive support for as long as they need it.

“I hope you will join me this Children’s Hospice Week in thanking the UK’s 54 children’s hospices and their incredible staff for the life-changing care they provide to children and families facing the unimaginable – helping them to make the most of every precious moment together.”

Catherine has been Patron of EACH since 2012 – her first patronage as a Royal – and has supported Children’s Hospice week every year. The Duchess has also issued a series of letters and made a number of visits to the hospices to hear about the remarkable work they do and support the give.

Kate visited EACH almost a year ago to the day, as restrictions eased a little, to see how lockdown had affected families.

Phil Gormley, EACH Chief Executive, said: “I am extremely grateful to the Duchess for her active support and advocacy, which is deeply appreciated and valued by both our families and staff.

“We are currently doing everything we can to ensure delivery of our frontline service. The care we deliver is critically important to some of the most vulnerable children in society and is dependent on continued support from the people of East Anglia.”

The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Rainbow Place Children’s Hospice in Hamilton, New Zealand on the Royal Tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2014. Picture by i-Images

Andy Fletcher, CEO for Together for Short Lives, said: “The Duchess of Cambridge, as Royal Patron for EACH, is a fantastic ambassador for seriously ill children and their families and the children’s hospices that they rely on.

“We join the Duchess in thanking children’s hospices for their much-needed lifeline support, especially throughout the pandemic, when families have felt exhausted and pushed to their limits.”

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