Kate Middleton has praised the work of children’s hospices in a moving open letter as she said the past year has been ‘tough and frightening’ for families with seriously ill youngsters.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, who is patron of East Anglia Children’s Hospices, penned the personal message of support to thank centres across the UK for their work as Children’s Hospice Week 2021 begins today.
In the note, which was shared on Instagram by the organisation, the mother-of-three said she recognised the ‘tremendous strain’ placed on families during the Covid-19 crisis.
She wrote: ‘The last year has been a difficult one for everyone, and especially tough and frightening for families with seriously ill children.
Kate Middleton, 39, has praised the work of children’s hospices in a moving open letter as she says the past year has been ‘tough and frightening’ for families with seriously ill youngsters
‘Many started shielding long before others, worrying about the pandemic and what it might mean for their child.’
She continued: ‘This year’s theme for Children’s Hospice Week is ‘Pushed to the Limits’, recognising the tremendous strain these families face and why the care and support of their local children’s hospices are more needed than ever.’
The mother-of-three wrote: ‘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.
In the note, which was shared on Instagram by the organisation, the mother-of-three said she recognised the ‘tremendous strain’ placed on families during the Covid-19 crisis
‘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.’
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall also shared a message of support for hospices today, posting on Instagram: ‘Once again, it is Children’s Hospice Week, so I wanted to send a message to all the families across the country who are caring for terminally ill babies, children and young people.
‘You face enormous, heart-breaking challenges and you are much in my thoughts and prayers.
‘I also wanted to thank the brilliant staff and volunteers who work wonders to help short lives to be lived to the full, creating precious memories and providing comfort and support to all those who come through your doors.’
Last year, the organisation’s CEO, Tracey Rennie, revealed how the Duchess’ visits made an impact to families at the hospice
Last year, Each Hospice’s CEO, Tracey Rennie, revealed how Kate’s visits made a profound impact to families at the hospice.
She told the Heirpod podcast: ‘She has always been the same, she’s been incredibly friendly, incredibly open, caring.
‘She is just at ease talking to a family with a child who has a really profound disability to a child with a brother and sister that might be running around, or even a newly bereaved family that is still coming to terms with a child dying.
‘She always has a really positive impact on the conversation that she has with families, and they will never forget that for the rest of their lives.
‘Without her realising, she creates really precious memories for families.’
Meanwhile the Duchess of Cornwall also shared a message of support for children’s hospices today as she said families face ‘enormous, heart-breaking challenges’
Kate’s most recent letter comes days after she joined experts to discuss the inaugural report of her new Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood.
On Friday, the mother-of-three said she hopes her new institution would make it ‘more common to speak about emotions and feelings’, enabling adults to better understand how affection affects their own behaviour.
Speaking during the roundtable discussion at LSE, she stressed she was ‘really excited’ to launch the The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood, which will drive focus on bringing to light the extraordinary impact of the early years in order to transform society for generations to come.
The establishment of the centre signals a lifetime commitment from the duchess to transforming society. The mother-of-three, who has championed the cause since she joined the Royal Family, stressed our first five years ‘lay important foundations for our future selves’ and ultimately ‘shapes the adults and the parents we become’ in a video released last week.