Posted on Tuesday 11 December 2018
The Duchess of Cambridge with patients
The Duchess of Cambridge has today (Tuesday 11 December) become Patron of Evelina London Children’s Hospital, ahead of its 150th anniversary.
The announcement was made as Her Royal Highness visited Evelina London with The Duke of Cambridge.
During the visit Their Royal Highnesses spoke to a group of parents about the care their children have received at Evelina London and joined patients as they took part in Christmas themed activities.
Evelina London, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, is preparing to celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2019. The anniversary will be marked with events for patients, families and staff throughout the year.
The Duchess of Cambridge kicked off the celebrations by helping patients who have been treated at the hospital to complete a commemorative artwork and to unveil a special anniversary banner marking Evelina London’s 150 years.
Between them The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have now visited Evelina London four times in the past two years. The Duchess visited the hospital in February to launch a nursing campaign and last year Her Royal Highness officially opened Ronald McDonald House for families whose children are being treated at Evelina London. The Duke visited the hospital in January to celebrate the national rollout of a scheme to help ex-servicemen and women find employment in the NHS.
Marian Ridley, Director of Evelina London, said: “We are absolutely delighted and deeply honoured The Duchess of Cambridge has chosen to become our Patron. The Duchess shares our passion for giving children and young people the very best start in life and Her Royal Highness’ support will help champion the life-saving care our staff are providing to our patients.
“The Duke and Duchess have a very special connection to Evelina London and their warmth, charm and sympathy have brought enormous joy to our staff and families whenever they’ve visited.
“It was a huge pleasure to welcome Their Royal Highnesses back to our hospital and it was absolutely wonderful that they were able to join us as we begin to celebrate our milestone 150th anniversary. We are immensely grateful for Their Royal Highnesses’ support and we look forward to working closely with The Duchess as our Patron.”
Speaking at Evelina London The Duchess said: “It’s always such a pleasure to come and meet patients and families who are here. A huge thank you to everyone here at Evelina for doing such an amazing job on a daily basis in supporting children and their extended families both here and also out in the community.”
Debbie Thompson spoke to The Duke and Duchess about the care her four-year-old son, Cruz Brown, has received at the hospital. Cruz has a rare kidney condition and has been an Evelina London patient since he was born. He visits the hospital three times a week for dialysis. Cruz is featured on a special Evelina London 150th anniversary banner and helped The Duchess to unveil it.
Debbie, a mother-of-three, said: “The Duke and Duchess were very down to earth and personable. They were interested in the care that Cruz has been receiving at Evelina London. They also said that they very impressed by the slide in the outpatients department and said that it looks like a lot of fun for the children.
“It feels like a real honour that Cruz has been chosen to represent Evelina London on its special 150th banner. He absolutely loves coming to the hospital and is well known to the staff and patients. The staff really go out of their way to care for him and make his visits fun and enjoyable. I’m very thankful for the care he has received.”
Evelina London was founded in 1869 as Evelina Hospital for Sick Children by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, whose wife, Evelina, died along with their baby in childbirth.
Now, Evelina London cares for children and young people from before birth, throughout childhood and into adult life. The hospital provides a range of services to children across south London and south east England. Evelina London also provides community services to children and their families in Lambeth and Southwark.