The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met families supported by Child Bereavement UK this week, which supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.
The Duke has been patron of the charity since 2009.
The royal couple was greeted by crowds of well-wishers as they visited the charity’s offices near High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.
Meeting staff, volunteers and supporters at Child Bereavement UK, The Duke said: “It’s fantastic what you are doing. I’m so proud to be a patron of the charity. Please keep up the good work.”
The Duke and Duchess met bereaved families and saw first-hand some of Child Bereavement UK’s support groups for bereaved children, young people and parents. They experienced the activities of the charity’s Young People’s Advisory Group, a forum for bereaved young people to share their experiences and help develop resources. Daniel, age 14, said: “They had a chat with everyone and they seemed like very nice people. It was pretty exciting.”
The couple also met bereaved young children and their parents, where children took part in creative activities designed to help them express their feelings. They also met a Parents’ Support Group for parents following the death of a child.
Juliette, whose two children Aidan, 13, and Elysia, 7, attend children’s groups at the charity said: “Child Bereavement UK has been so helpful because they understand – they’ve dealt with children who have been through similar things to us.”
Her son Aidan said of the Young People’s group he attends: “It’s just really helpful, it just cheers me up. The stuff that we do is really fun, and if I’ve had a bad day at school or something like that, I can go to that club and I just feel much better.”
On meeting the Duke and Duchess, Juliette added: “They made the families feel very much at ease. William was very funny actually, and really interactive, both of them, with the children, which was lovely to see.”
Chief Executive Ann Chalmers said: “It was wonderful to have both the Duke and Duchess here to visit us and to experience Child Bereavement UK’s work first-hand. They both showed great compassion, warmth and understanding, and I don’t doubt they will have been moved by what they heard from the bereaved families and children they met.”