Today marks the start of Children's Hospice Week and Demelza in Eltham has welcomed a letter of support from the Duchess of Cambridge.

Demelza Hospice Care for Children is joining national charity Together for Short Lives to combat a lack of awareness revealed by a YouGov survey.

Children’s Hospice Week is run annually and is the UK's only awareness and fundraising week benefitting children’s hospices and the families they support.

The aim of the week is to bring all 54 UK children’s hospices together to raise awareness of the support they provide and to dispel myths and misconceptions about children’s hospice care.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Together for Short Lives found that 20 per cent of the British public do not know what children’s hospices are.

Children’s Hospice Week’s ambition is to raise awareness of what children’s hospices mean to seriously ill children and families, to celebrate the lifeline care they provide and show how they support families to make precious memories.

Mandy, whose son, Jake, attends the Demelza hospice in Eltham, said “I always thought that a hospice was a place of death and dying – but at Demelza it’s not.

"It’s a happy place which is about life, having fun and precious moments. For children it’s almost like a Peter Pan Land. The staff also support the parents and the brothers and sisters – and I’ve even had a pamper day there.”

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, who is a Royal Patron on both, has sent a message of support to celebrate and mark Children’s Hospice Week.

The message comes after seeing first-hand that children’s hospices provide vital support for seriously ill children, young people and families.

In her personal message, The Duchess hopes that others will join her in thanking children’s hospices for the lifeline care they provide during Children’s Hospice Week.

She said: “Children’s hospices provide vital sanctuaries for those experiencing the very toughest of times. They help families and carers build life long memories that are poignant, happy and often filled with laughter.

"They provide a lifeline to children and families for however long support is needed and I hope that others join me in thanking them as we shine a light on their work during Children's Hospice Week.”

Have you had experiences at Demelza in Eltham? Let us know in the comments below or email