Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge, Supports Children's Hospices With First Ever Video Message (VIDEO)

Duchess Of Cambridge Supports Children's Hospices With First Ever Video Message (PICTURES)

The Duchess of Cambridge has given her first ever video message to appeal for support for a campaign for children's hospices.

In the message, aired for the first time today, the Duchess urged people to support Children's Hospice Week.

The week, which runs until Friday, is run by UK children's palliative care charity Together for Short Lives.

In the video, which lasts just under two minutes, pregnant Kate, who is Royal Patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH), said she had seen first-hand the "transformational" work done for children and their families.

Wearing a black dress with a white Peter Pan collar, she said: "As Patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices I have been fortunate to see at first hand the remarkable work that they do for children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. It is simply transformational.

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"There are 49 children's hospice services across the UK, all providing similar invaluable and life enhancing care to thousands of families.

"Children's Hospice Week is a time to recognise, celebrate and support the inspirational work of those hospices, and those who provide palliative care to these children and families.

"Children's hospices provide lifelines to families at a time of unimaginable pain. The support they give is vital.

"In order to carry out this wonderful work, our help is needed. With our support, those providing children's palliative care can continue to offer these extraordinary services. It does not bear thinking about what these families would do without this.

"I hope that you will join me this Children's Hospice Week in supporting your local service. To find out more about how you can help, please visit togetherforshortlives.org.uk

"With your support, we can help ensure that these children and their families can make the most of the precious time they have together."

Children's Hospice Week, organised by Together for Short Lives, celebrates the work of children's hospices and children's palliative care services that provide vital care to children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions, and their families.

It culminates this Friday with Superhero Friday - a special day of hero-inspired fundraising.

Barbara Gelb, chief executive of Together for Short Lives, has welcomed support from the Duchess of Cambridge.

"I am so delighted and very excited that Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, as Royal Patron of East Anglia's Children's Hospices, has generously given her support to Children's Hospice Week," she said.

"I know this extraordinary backing will mean so much to all the UK's 49,000 children with palliative care needs and their families and will really help raise awareness of what these families need, today and in the future.

"The Duchess's message will be a real boost to children's hospices and all the charities that deliver vital health and social care to these families.

"These services rely on donations so they can help children and families make the most of the precious time they have together.

"I hope that the public will be inspired by Her Royal Highness to join us this Children's Hospice Week by supporting their local service."

EACH supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, providing care and support wherever families wish - in their own homes, in hospital or at one of its hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Quidenham.

It is just one of several charities of which Kate is a patron, and the video includes clips of her on visits to its hospices.

Chief executive Graham Butland said: "The Duchess of Cambridge in her role as Royal Patron has brought great benefits to EACH. Her Royal Highness's involvement helps us to celebrate and raise awareness of the care and support we provide to life-threatened children and their families across East Anglia.

"To have our work recognised in this way has also given a great boost to the families we support, as well as our staff, supporters and volunteers.

"We're delighted to have Her Royal Highness's support during Children's Hospice Week, not only for EACH but for all children's hospices and palliative care services across the UK."

The video message can be viewed at www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk or www.each.org.uk