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St Oswald’s Hospice welcomes Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge’s video message to mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice Week 2017


May 14, 2017

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has recorded a video message to celebrate and mark the beginning of Children’s Hospice Week. Children’s Hospice Week (22-28 May) is organised by the UK children’s palliative care charity Together for Short Lives. 

St Oswald’s Hospice is one of the charities joining The Duchess to mark Children’s Hospice Week 2017. The Duchess’s message and support will help reach out to families caring for seriously ill children, so they know that help is at hand.

St Oswald’s Children and Young Adults Service supports children and young adults with life-shortening conditions and their families from across the North East, and is one of the UK’s specialist children’s palliative care and hospice services. The Duchess’s support will mean so much to children and families supported by St Oswald’s – it will give them, and all the dedicated staff and volunteers at St Oswald’s Hospice a real boost.

The Duchess’s video message can be viewed at Together for Short Lives’ and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ websites (www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/royalfilm and www.each.org.uk/childrens-hospice-week).

St Oswald’s Hospice will be celebrating The Duchess’s support for Children’s Hospice Week by holding special events for families during the week. This will include a magical storytelling session and a series of music workshops for children, young adults and their families to enjoy.

James Ellam, Chief Executive at St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “We are thrilled that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is helping to raise awareness of services like our Children and Young Adults Service by marking Children’s Hospice Week. The families accessing our services often tell us that St Oswald’s is a lifeline to them and we are delighted that these vital services are being highlighted to families who might also need our support, and the wider public. ”

The Duchess, as Royal Patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), talks about her personal experience of the incredible difference that children’s hospices and palliative care services can make for children and families, and asks everyone to join her this Children’s Hospice Week by shining a light on these lifeline services.

In an excerpt from the video, The Duchess says:

“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.” 

Welcoming The Duchess of Cambridge’s message of support, Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO for Together for Short Lives, the charity behind Children’s Hospice Week said:

“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.”

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 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 show what life is like for families caring for children with life-limiting conditions, and to amplify families’ 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.  

To find out more about St Oswald’s Hospice visit www.stoswaldsuk.org.

By Emily