Prince Harry hosts the WellChild awards at Kew GardensPrince Harry has urged members of the public to play a part in the upcoming WellChild Awards,
Prince Harry hosts the WellChild awards at Kew Gardens
Prince Harry has urged members of the public to play a part in the upcoming WellChild Awards, an initiative celebrating the achievements of seriously ill children and the challenges themselves and their families face daily. The Duke of Sussex has called for people to “spread the word” the nomination process has started and to even put a name forward if they know anybody they think would be eligible for this accolade.
Harry, who has been the patron of WellChild since 2007, said: “Like so many, my spirit is consistently renewed by the strength and fortitude of the WellChild community.
“These children and their parents never cease to amaze and inspire me, and I cherish every opportunity I have to connect with them.
“Every year, I look forward to honouring the incredible recipients of the WellChild Awards, and I encourage everyone in the UK to get involved this year.
“The last two years has been hard on everyone, but for these families far harder than most.
Prince Harry is the patron of WellChild
Prince Harry at the WellChild Awards ceremony in 2019
“Spread the word that nominations are now open, or nominate someone you know today!”
WellChild chief executive Colin Dyer said there are more children and young people than ever before living with long-term and serious health needs in Britain.
The Covid crisis, he added, put the families and these children under even more pressure.
As a consequence, the awards would present a “unique opportunity” to acknowledge the challenges and strength of these children, their carers and loved ones.
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Prince Harry joking with some of the WellChild Awards recipients in 2012
He said: “The WellChild Awards 2022 will be a unique opportunity to recognise and highlight the immense challenges they continue to face and celebrate the remarkable positivity, resilience and spirit they have demonstrated.
“It will also help us to shine a light on the dedication of those around them, from siblings and professionals who have gone above and beyond to help them through such challenging times.”
Nominations for the WellChild Awards 2022 are already open.
Members of the public can submit their suggestions until midnight on February 20.
Prince Harry and Meghan posing with one of the recipients of the WellChild Awards 2018
Prince Harry has been the patron of WellChild since 2007
Among those eligible are children living with long-term health conditions as well as young people caring for friends or siblings living with serious illnesses.
Doctors, nurses and other professionals who go the extra mile to make a difference in the lives of these children can also receive an award.
The annual event has been regularly attended by Prince Harry.
Last summer, he surprised children and their families by taking part in the awards held at Kew Gardens, in west London, despite now living in California.
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The event, taking place in late June, was also attended by Ed Sheeran, Ronnie Wood, Amanda Holden, AJ Pritchard and Abbie Quinnen among other A-listers.
Among last year’s winners was Carmela Chillery-Watson, now aged seven, who triumphed in the Inspirational Child 4-6 category.
The child, who suffers from Muscular Dystrophy, distinguished herself by launching a fundraiser aimed to support research looking into a cure for her condition.
The child raised a stunning £50,000 for the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Prince Harry and Meghan live in California
During that same trip in the summer, the Duke also unveiled at Kensington Palace the statue he and Prince William had commissioned of Princess Diana.
Prince Harry has shown a continuous commitment to the charity and has remained in touch with its members even after stepping down as full-time working royal at the end of March 2020.
On one occasion, in December 2020, he stunned four recipients of the WellChild Awards by appearing on a video call unannounced.
Before catching up with them, the Duke joked: “I don’t even recognise some of you, since it has been what – two, maybe three years for some of you. How are you guys doing?”