The Duchess of Cambridge has penned a letter to mark Children’s Hospice Week, asking the UK to join her “in thanking the UK’s 54 children’s hospices and their incredible staff for the life-changing care they provide.”
Held from 21-27 June, the national awareness week is organised by the UK’s umbrella charity for children’s palliative care, Together for Short Lives. The Duchess of Cambridge became the royal patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in 2012 and has supported Children’s Hospice Week annually since then.
Her letter reads:
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.
Due to the ongoing public health crisis, EACH has seen its fundraising events cancelled and its 43 shops, which raise vital income, had to close for 30 weeks.
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 pandemic has created some significant challenges, including maintaining our voluntary income, but these aren’t insurmountable and we’re genuinely confident of being able to innovate, expand and develop our service in future.”
For more information about how to support EACH this Children’s Hospice Week and to view The Duchess’s letter in full visit www.each.org.uk/childrenshospiceweek.