The Princess of Wales has written of the “truly extraordinary teamwork” that underpins children’s hospices across the UK.
Her Royal Highness is Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and was speaking at the start of Children’s Hospice Week – a national awareness week that begins today (Monday, 19th June) and runs until Sunday (25th June).
In a personal message of support, she spoke of the importance of letting “children be children” and the way hospices help families make that a reality.
The Princess wrote: “With 99,000 seriously ill children across the country, children’s hospices work tirelessly to provide life-changing care to families with the aim of making unbelievably difficult situations that little bit easier.
“As Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, I have been privileged to see first-hand the incredible way hospices help families and allow children to be children.
“During Children’s Hospice Week, all hospices will be doing what they do day in day out – delivering vital specialist care, and whether that is by helping to facilitate a day at the beach for children to feel the sand between their toes, engaging young people in therapeutic music activities, or having a fun painting session to create special moments and memories, the teams supporting these families regularly go above and beyond to make a difference to their lives, no longer how long or short they may be.
“On behalf of parents and carers across the country, I would like to say a huge thank you to all those working in Children’s Hospices. You are a shining light to so many families in their darkest times and your efforts do not go unnoticed.
“This Children’s Hospice Week, I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the truly extraordinary teamwork that goes into providing this incredible care.”
Children’s Hospice Week is led nationally by Together for Short Lives, the UK wide charity for children’s palliative care. It is the only week of the year dedicated to raising awareness of children’s hospice services across the UK.
The Princess has lent her support since becoming EACH Royal Patron in January 2012, including very personal written and filmed annual messages of support.
Her maiden public speech came when officially opening The Treehouse, in Ipswich, in March 2012.
Amidst many visits and engagements, she cut the ribbon at The Nook, EACH’s hospice in Norfolk, in November 2019.
The Princess made a return visit in June 2020, joining families to plant a new patio garden and transform the terrace area, and she opened EACH’s shop in Holt, Norfolk, in March 2016.
Her most recent EACH visit came during last year’s Children’s Hospice Week, when she was joined by HRH The Prince of Wales to meet families, staff and supporters at Milton.
Chief Executive Phil Gormley said: “Children’s Hospice Week is a hugely significant opportunity to celebrate the work we do, supporting families and caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions.
“It is also a platform for raising awareness and reminding everyone of the need for public support, given that we rely on donations for the majority of our income.
“With this in mind, we are so grateful for The Princess’ invaluable contribution as Royal Patron.
“Her work, visits and profile have projected our charity – as well as the importance of children’s hospice services generally – onto the global stage and for that we are truly thankful.”
To see and read The Princess’ signed letter, click here.