Last night, Prince Harry hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Well Child’s 40 years in operation.
Parents, nurses, supporters and volunteers were invited to the Palace, to mark four decades of the charity’s work helping sick children live at home, instead of hospitals and specialist facilities. Well Child kits out their homes and gardens to make it easier for them to live normal lives.
Harry, 32, is patron of the organisation and has been for the last seven years. The Prince attends the annual Well Child awards each year, recognising the bravery of the youngsters as they battle on, as well as the nurses and carers who assist, and even siblings who go the extra mile to help out. He meets all of the winners before the ceremony and presents some himself.
One parent, Hayley, whose daughter has cerebral palsy, chronic lung disease and epilepsy, amongst other things, praised Harry for his way with children: “Before he actually spoke to Holly, he said to me, ‘How am I best to communicate with her?’ I said, ‘It would be best if you held her hand and talked to her so she could feel you, use her other senses.
“And he gets down on his knee, and he holds her hand.”
Matt James, communications director for WellChild, said: “Harry has attended the WellChild awards for the last 10 years and before the award ceremony he meets all of our award winners.
“A lot of them are dealing with exceptional health needs and going through really challenging circumstances. ‘Meeting Harry really gives them a lift and he allows us to get our message out.”
In a brief address at the reception, Harry said: “You’ve been able to share your experiences. Now you’re professionals at this. You’ve got to try to share these experiences and help other people.
“I’d imagine it’s one hell of a decision to say ‘I want my children at home’.”