13/06/2017 09:40 BST

Prince Harry Praises Parents Who Care For Seriously Ill Children At WellChild Anniversary Event

The royal thanked the parents for their 'valuable contribution'.

Prince Harry praised parents who look after sick children at home, calling them “care professionals”.

He met with parents at an event celebrating the 40th anniversary of charity WellChild, an organisation that helps seriously ill children be cared for at home, where possible.

Harry, who is patron of the charity, said, according to the Evening Standard: “I imagine it’s one hell of a decision to say: ‘I want my children at home’.”

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Prince Harry at a reception to mark the 40th anniversary of WellChild at Buckingham Palace on 12 June 2017.

Prince Harry said the parents had become “care professionals” by looking after their sick children. 

A mother who attended the reception, Hayley Smallman, said the royal had praised the “valuable contribution” of parents and said it feeds back into local services.

Her daughter, Holly, has cerebral palsy and other medical conditions. Smallman said Prince Harry asked what the best way was to communicate with her.

Smallman told him he should hold Holly’s hand, and she said the royal got down on one knee and held her hand to speak to her. 

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Among those at the reception were parents behind the #notanurse_but campaign, which aims to give a voice to those juggling the demands of caring for a sick child.

Leanne Cooper launched the initiative in 2015 supported by WellChild to “lift the lid” on the number of families providing home care, using video diaries and social media. 

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Cooper, whose young daughter Sophie has severe cerebral palsy, said, according to PA: “Prince Harry actually asked me where to find the Not A Nurse videos so I pointed him in the direction of the WellChild website and the YouTube channel.

“He was asking really what the message was and it’s that we want to highlight the amount of medical care families are doing at home and then to hopefully make positive change for families, to get them the right support, so they don’t reach crisis point.

“All of our children want to be enjoying life, taking part, going to school, being part of society. But we have to help them to do that.”

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