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HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge’s message for Children’s Hospice

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Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded a personal video message to celebrate and mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice Week.

The Duchess, as Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), has seen first-hand the remarkable work that children’s hospice services like EACH provide for children and families – helping families to make the most of every precious moment.

In the message The Duchess asks everyone to join her this Children’s Hospice Week, to celebrate and shine a light on the extraordinary children’s palliative care and hospice services that are there for the UK’s 49,000 children and young people with life-limiting conditions. There is a real need to raise awareness of children’s hospices and palliative care services, so more families know where to turn for help. The Duchess’s support will mean so much to children and families – it will give them, and the services that support them, a real boost.

We are so thrilled that Her Royal Highness is supporting Children’s Hospice Week. 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. Families coming to terms with the heart-breaking 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 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. This support can make a world of difference for families.

Barbara Gelb OBE, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives

In the video message The Duchess says:

“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.

“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.”

“As Patron of EACH I have seen the incredible difference that children’s hospice and palliative care services can make for children, young people and their families.”

“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’s video message was recorded on a visit to meet children and families at EACH at Quidenham, in January 2017. The video soundtrack is Lego House, by EACH Ambassador Ed Sheeran.

Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive said: “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.

“The video message recognises the hard work and expertise of our staff and volunteers, as well as the range of specialist services that EACH provides.

Children’s Hospice Week is a key date in our calendar and we hope people will join us by getting involved and raising money and awareness of children’s palliative care services.”

Children’s Hospice Week (22-28 May) is the UK’s only awareness and fundraising week for children with life-limiting conditions and their families, and the hospice and palliative care services that support them. Children’s hospice services are all charities and rely on the generosity of the great British public to deliver their lifeline care and support. This year Children’s Hospice Week will be turning up the volume on children’s palliative care to shine a light on what life is like for families caring for children with life-limiting conditions, and to amplify their voices. It’s also a call for support: these families don’t have time to wait to get the care and support they desperately need.

Together for Short Lives’ recent survey for Children’s Hospice Week showed that there is a lack of understanding about children’s hospices and children’s palliative care. This is why The Duchess’s support for Children’s Hospice Week is so important – The Duchess’s message will help to change perceptions and will help more families know that specialist help is available and someone is there for them who understands what they are going through.

Together for Short Lives is calling on the public to support their local services and help families in your area. You can find your local service and find out how you can get involved here.

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