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The Gloucesters

The Duchess of Gloucester reaches out to families living with cerebral palsy


World Cerebral Palsy Day was honoured by the Duchess of Gloucester when she participated in a video chat Tuesday with two families being helped by one of her patronages, Cerebral Palsy Scotland.

“May I say how very delighted I am to speak to you on World Cerebral Palsy Day and to hear how you have been coping over the last few months,” the Duchess of Gloucester said.

She spoke with parents Alan and Vicki, whose twins have been assisted by Cerebral Palsy Scotland’s remote therapy services during the pandemic. “In our family, we have Sophie and Sarah who both have quadriplegic cerebral palsy,” Vicki said. “And thankfully, we managed to speak to Sandra from Cerebral Palsy Scotland and she gave us some ideas to continue on through lockdown.”

Jackie, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at age five, told the Duchess that “lockdown was quite difficult but being involved with charities, and when we started all the Zoom stuff, you know that kind of took up my time.”

“I would like to applaud the two families for coping so well with such energy, and that’s very commendable,” the Duchess of Gloucester said. “And to Stephanie and team in Cerebral Palsy Scotland congratulations on adapting in this very, very difficult situation.”

Cerebral palsy is present in about one in 500 births, according to the charity, with around 150 children diagnosed in Scotland each year.

People with the condition have damage to their brain that either happened before birth or during early development, and the disability causes disruption to the development of movement, balance, and posture. One in three children with cerebral palsy cannot walk, Cerebral Palsy Scotland says.

Because of this, the intensive therapy programmes offered by charities like Cerebral Palsy Scotland are vitally important for those with the disability. The Duchess learned more about how the organisation was impacted by the pandemic and what they did to continue delivering these services during the lockdown.
In addition to Cerebral Palsy Scotland, the Duchess of Gloucester also serves as patron of Cerebral Palsy Cymru, a charity supporting babies and children in Wales with the disability, and Bobath Centre, a specialist treatment centre and charity dedicated to children and adults living with cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions.

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.