Kate hails 'lifeline' children's hospices which are 'needed more than ever'

Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge gave her first public address at The Treehouse when she

The Duchess of Cambridge visiting The Treehouse in Ipswich in 2013 - Credit: Archant

The Duchess of Cambridge has urged people to donate to "lifeline" children's hospice such as The Treehouse in Ipswich - saying they are "needed now more than ever".

Her Royal Highness is a patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), which runs The Treehouse - famously visiting the hospice in 2013.

EACH has predicted that it faces a £2million deficit in 2021, having lost huge swathes of income from fundraising and charity shops during the coronavirus pandemic.

It managed to recover a £1.7m deficit from the first coronavirus lockdown by cutting costs and reducing or redesigning some services.

The sheer generosity of the public also helped it through a time where it was forced to focus its services on the most important, end-of-life care and move many therapy services online.

In a letter to mark Children's Hospice Week, The Duchess said the Covid-19 crisis has been an "especially tough and frightening for families with seriously ill children".

The Duchess of Cambridge pictured at the The Treehouse in Ipswich in 2012. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Duchess praised the work of children's hospices in her letter

She said the "tremendous strain these families face" shows "why the care and support of their local children’s hospices is needed now more than ever".

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The Duchess added: “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.

"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.”

EACH has passed on its congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the birth of their

Kate is a patron for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH)

Phil Gormley, EACH chief executive, said: “I am extremely grateful to The Duchess for her active support and advocacy, which is deeply appreciated and valued by both our families and staff.

“We are currently doing everything we can to ensure delivery of our frontline service.

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to her third child. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Duchess said hospices like The Treehouse 'give families the care and time they need to make treasured lifelong memories'

"The care we deliver is critically important to some of the most vulnerable children in society and is dependent on continued support from the people of East Anglia.

“The pandemic has created some significant challenges, including maintaining our voluntary income, but these aren’t insurmountable and we’re genuinely confident of being able to innovate, expand and develop our service in future.”

For more information about how to support EACH, visit www.each.org.uk/childrenshospiceweek