'They create lifelong memories' - Duchess of Cambridge praises work of children's hospice
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 June 2019
The Duchess of Cambridge has praised East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) as a "truly heart-warming example to us all" in a letter of support.
Sharing her thoughts in a letter to coincide with Children's Hospice Week, Kate Middleton said charities like EACH create "lifelong memories that are poignant, happy and often filled with laughter".
Children's Hospice Week, which runs from June 17-23, is a national awareness week organised by the UK's umbrella charity for children's palliative care Together for Short Lives.
In her letter the Duchess, EACH's Royal Patron, says: "Children's hospices provide vital sanctuaries for those experiencing the very toughest of times. They help families and carers build lifelong memories that are poignant, happy and often filled with laughter.
"Whether through specialist play aimed at deepening relationships between children and their families, or through art and music therapy that helps young people express themselves and release their thoughts and feelings - the work of organisations like East Anglia's Children's Hospices can set a truly heart-warming example to us all."
This year's Children's Hospice Week theme is 'Moments that Matter'. It is hoped showcasing the moments that matter for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and their families, will challenge the misconception that children's hospices are scary places.
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In a recent UK-wide survey, a fifth said they did not know what children's hospices do or what children's palliative care means.
The Duchess's letter goes on: "Moments that Matter aims to make the most of the very precious time that those using hospice services have.
"Throughout the week we will hear amazing stories from families facing the toughest of futures. I hope that they will inspire each and every one of us to similarly make the most of the time we have with our own families, by ensuring every moment matters and that we create memories that last forever."
EACH is sharing the stories of five parents who receive its support at a photography exhibition in Ipswich, where the photos on display have been taken by the parents as a means of exploring what EACH and the word 'hospice' mean to them, and how that may have changed over time.
Among parents whose photos will be exhibited is Charlotte Markham, from Kesgrave, whose son Elliot sadly died after just a few hours in 2012.
She said: "When we went to look around The Treehouse [EACH's hospice in Ipswich] it was a totally different experience to what we expected. We were made to feel that our son Elliot mattered, his life mattered, he was important; they would care for us and him. Our initial perception of what EACH was from the outside was so wrong."
- For more information about Children's Hospice Week and to view the Duchess's letter in full visit EACH