The Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), has asked everyone to join her “in thanking the UK’s 54 children’s hospices and their incredible staff for the life-changing care they provide”, in a message to mark Children’s Hospice Week (21-27 June).
The theme of the national awareness week, organised by the UK’s umbrella charity for children’s palliative care, Together for Short Lives, is Pushed to the Limits. This reflects how families who use children’s hospice services have been pushed to theirs this last year.
The Duchess’s letter reads: “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.”
The Duchess became EACH Royal Patron in 2012 and her letter is the latest in a series of messages she has released, and visits she has made, since.
Over the last year EACH saw its fundraising events cancelled and the ability of community and corporate supporters to raise money severely impacted. Meanwhile, its 43 shops, which raise vital income, had to close for 30 weeks.
While the charity has weathered the storm thanks to the generosity of supporters, government funding, the furlough scheme and local authority grants, it still needs to raise further support.
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.