Children’s hospices ‘a truly heart-warming example to us all,’ says Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge

Children’s hospices ‘a truly heart-warming example to us all,’ says Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge

Jun 17, 2019

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has said charities like EACH provide “a truly heart-warming example to us all” of creating “life long memories that are poignant, happy and often filled with laughter”.

The Duchess, EACH’s Royal Patron, has shared her thoughts in a letter of support for Children’s Hospice Week (17-23 June), the national awareness week organised by the UK’s umbrella charity for children’s palliative care Together for Short Lives.

The theme for Children’s Hospice Week this year is Moments that Matter. It is hoped showcasing the moments that matter for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and their families, will challenge the misconception that children’s hospices are scary places. In a recent UK-wide survey conducted by YouGov, a fifth (20%) of respondents said they did not know what children’s hospices do or what children’s palliative care means.

The Duchess’s letter reads: “It (Moments that Matter) aims to make the most of the very precious time that those using hospice services have. Throughout the week we will hear amazing stories from families facing the toughest of futures. I hope that they will inspire each and every one of us to similarly make the most of the time we have with our own families, by ensuring every moment matters and that we create memories that last forever.”

EACH is sharing the stories of five parents who receive our support at a photography exhibition in Ipswich, where the photos on display have been taken by the parents as a means of exploring what EACH and the word ‘hospice’ mean to them, and how that may have changed over time. The exhibition, called the H-Word, is being seen as an unprecedented and innovative attempt to address misconceptions, and has received positive feedback from other children’s hospices around the country. If well received in Ipswich, we hope to take it on tour around the rest of East Anglia.

Among parents whose photos will be exhibited is Charlotte Markham, from Kesgrave, whose son Elliot sadly died after just a few hours in 2012.

Charlotte said: “When we went to look around The Treehouse (EACH’s hospice in Ipswich) it was a totally different experience to what we expected. We were made to feel that our son Elliot mattered, his life mattered, he was important, they would care for us and him. Our initial perception of what EACH was from the outside was so wrong.

The Duchess became EACH’s Royal Patron in 2012 and her letter is the latest in a series of messages she has released since.

Graham Butland, EACH Chief Executive, said: “We know and the families we’ve supported know just how much of a positive difference children’s hospices can make, providing truly memorable moments of fun and inspiration, but there’s still a clear gap in the knowledge of many others. We often hear from families how they expected our hospices to be sad and dark places. That’s simply not the case, as Her Royal Highness knows from her visits to us, and it’s fantastic to have her continued support in raising awareness. Children’s Hospice Week is always a really important time of year for us and all children’s hospices across the UK, and I hope people will once again join the Duchess in championing the role they have to play. We’re very excited to be hosting the H-Word and hope it’ll go some way to addressing misconceptions in our region.”

For more information about Children’s Hospice Week and to view the Duchess’s letter in full visit www.each.org.uk/childrenshospiceweek. For more information about the H-Word exhibition head to www.each.org.uk/thehword.



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  • EACH helped us with coping mechanisms and special ways of remembering Stanley. Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • Children like Lucy don’t get the opportunity to go to sleepovers or to their friends for tea, so the interaction she has at the hospice is priceless. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • We arrived at the hospice feeling scared and alone. We had so many questions – they answered them all and more. Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • I didn’t realise hope was a gift until I became a mum. My little boy taught me many things and that was one of them Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • It’s been a great opportunity to meet other parents in a similar situation, something that doesn't really happen anywhere else. Helen, William’s mum
  • Renee loves going to The Treehouse, but it’s great that care staff are also able to visit us at home too. Stacy, Renee’s mum
  • EACH supports families when they’re at their absolute lowest, helping them to come to terms with their child’s illness, losing them and beyond Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • I really love going to the hospice. I’ve made friends there and get to do loads of fun stuff. Renee
  • The play specialists are excellent and I also get inspiration from the activities they organise. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • I can’t imagine what it would have been like. Nobody should have to, every family should be offered the support we were, and are still getting Claire, Jacob’s mum
  • EACH has helped us keep Stanley’s memory alive. And allows us to look to the future Brad, Stanley's Dad
  • EACH helps us to create lovely memories and has played an important part in all of our lives, not just Lucy’s. Heather, Lucy’s mum
  • We are also supported by the 24/7 True Colours nurses and it’s so reassuring knowing we can call on them whenever we need support or advice Helen, William’s mum
  • When we first heard about the hospice we were apprehensive because we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there we realised it was a lovely place where Renee would be well looked after, and we would be able to have a much-needed break. Stacy, Renee’s mum

The Treehouse

St. Augustine’s Gardens,
Ipswich, IP3 8NS

Milton

Church Lane, Milton,
Cambridge, CB24 6AB

The Nook

Pigot Lane, Framingham Earl
Norfolk, NR14 7PX