The Duchess of Cambridge has released a new video message to mark the start of Children's Hospice Week. Just one day after she celebrated sister Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Matthews, Kensington Palace released a personal video of Kate, which was recorded in January during her visit to meet children and families at East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) at Quidenham. In the message, 35-year-old Kate – royal patron of EACH – highlights the palliative care and hospice services that support the 49,000 children and young people in the UK with life-limiting conditions.
"For any parents, being told that your child may have a life-limiting condition, or may die young, will be one of the most difficult and isolating experiences you can face," Kate says. "Having someone to help you come to terms with this news, and the professional support and care that comes with this, can make an enormous difference. It can help families make the most of every precious moment they have together."
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Duchess Kate's message was recorded in January during a visit to children and families at EACH
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The mother-of-two also highlights the incredible difference that EACH makes to the lives of both children and their loved ones. "For these families, having expert care and support is vital, and this is what children's hospices provide," she says. "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. They work they do is extraordinary, and it really does make a world of difference." Children's Hospice Week, which runs from May 22 to 28, is organised by the UK charity Together For Short Lives. The week aims to raise awareness of the work of the UK's 54 children's hospices and the support offered by children's palliative care charities.
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The video has been released to mark the start of Children's Hospice Week
Barbara Gelb OBE, CEO for Together for Short Lives said in a statement: "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.
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"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." Together for Short Lives is calling on the public to support their local services and help families in your area. Visit www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/chw to find your local service and find out how you can get involved.