The Duchess of Cambridge recorded a video message to mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice Week, released by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.
“For any parent, being told that your child may have a life-limiting condition, or may die young, will be one of the most difficult and isolating experiences you can face,” the Duchess says in the video.
“Having someone to help you come to terms with this news, and the professional support and care that comes with this, can make an enormous difference. It can help families make the most of every precious moment they have together.”
The Duchess filmed the message during her visit to EACH in Quidenham earlier this year.
“Across the UK more than 49,000 children and young people have life-limiting conditions. For these families, having expert care and support is vital, and this is what children’s hospices provide. They deliver first-class care in a safe environment that feels as close to home as possible, full of colour, warmth, love and support.
“Today, as we mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice Week, I hope you will join me in shining a light on the dedicated and inspirational staff and volunteers, and the lifeline services they provide for children and their families. The work they do is extraordinary, and it really does make a world of difference.”
The Duchess of Cambridge has been patron of EACH since 2012, when she selected the organisation as one of her first patronages. Since then, she has filmed a video message each year to mark the start of Children’s Hospice Week.
“We are extremely honoured Her Royal Highness has taken the time to record a message of support, not only for EACH but for all children’s hospices across the UK,” said Graham Butland, EACH’s CEO, in a statement.
Children’s Hospice Week takes place each year in May – this year from 22-28 May – to raise awareness for children’s hospices and children’s palliative care charities in the UK. It is organised by the charity Together For Short Lives.
“The Duchess’s words, and her amazing support for Children’s Hospice Week since 2013, have been transformational, helping to raise awareness of the needs of seriously ill children and families and to show that help is at hand,” said CEO of Together For Short Lives, Barbara Gelb in a statement.
“Families coming to terms with the heartbreaking news that their child will die young often say that it is the most isolating time, and they simply don’t know where to turn to for help.
“That’s why the Duchess’s words are so poignant – it’s a clear message that help is available from the remarkable children’s hospice and palliative care services right across the UK.”