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Vulnerable children should not be forgotten amid pandemic – Duke of Sussex

The Duke of Sussex has said vulnerable children “should not be forgotten” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Harry, who is the patron of a charity for seriously ill children, WellChild, said he has spoken with the families they support in a letter attached to their impact report for 2020.

The report details how last year, the charity provided more than 289,000 PPE items to families in the UK to ensure that carers could safely come to their homes, and how it adapted to provide digital resources for families who were forced to isolate.

Harry acknowledges that it has taken a “steadfast, coordinated effort across communities and countries to get ourselves to a point where we can fight this virus” and said the charity’s response to the pandemic shows “exactly why WellChild is so close to my heart”.

He said: “I am incredibly proud to say that WellChild has moved with urgency and purpose to tackle the new challenges that children with complex needs and their families have faced because of this crisis.

“Life for everyone has been tough. For these families, it has been tougher than most of us can imagine.”

The Duke added: “As we continue to battle this health crisis, the existing needs of vulnerable children should not be forgotten.

“WellChild is a lifeline for so many people, and has had to redirect many of its funding resources during the pandemic.

“We must make sure that young people with serious health conditions continue to receive the support they need as we recover, rebuild, and work to return to normal life.”

WellChild lost 60 per cent of its projected income in 2020, as events were cancelled and financial constraints grew for sponsors.

In the Impact Report, one WellChild Children’s Nurse also wrote: “This has been the hardest and saddest of years for lots of NHS workers, but on the days I myself am feeling low and miss my friends and family, I remind myself of the daily challenges our children and young people with complex health needs and their families face.

“How hard has life been for them this year without the normality of school, carers and respite to support them? And so I am completely humbled and it has been an absolute privilege to be able to offer them my support.”

WellChild provides a national network of children’s nurses, who work with families to ensure that children with complex care needs can leave hospital and get the care they need at home.

( PA )

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