Prince Harry and the inspirational stars of the WellChild awards
Tears were shed and hearts were touched as Prince Harry embraced children at Cheltenham-based charity’s Awards ceremony in London last night.
As royal patron of WellChild which supports sick children and families, the Prince paid tribute at The Dorchester Hotel in London to the courage and extraordinary work carried out by the charity.
The Prince said: “It reminds us of all the things that we take for granted and what life is all about. It means a lot to me and I’m sure it means a lot to all of you.
“This charity stands way above the rest, the more help they can get the better”.
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The Prince spoke about his baby nephew Prince George saying being an uncle was ‘fantastic.’
“I’ve just literally seen him. It is lovely having a new nephew,” said the Prince.
“Normally when I see him, he’s sleeping or crying but today he was having a bath.
“It was the first time I’ve seen him smile.”
Among the winners was 11-year-old Sam Dee from Bristol who won Most Caring Young Person Award Winner.
Sam’s sister Hannah cannot walk or talk unaided due to kidney abnormalities and speaking at The Dorchester last night, he said: “I just want her to know that if mum and dad aren’t here, I will be able to look after her.”
Grandparents Eddie and Gloria Wilmott sat in the audience as he collected his awards.
“We are so proud of him. He has been so excited about meeting Prince Harry – and all the posh cars,” said Mr Wilmott.
Placing the winners at the heart of the evening, the awards included categories that celebrated nurses, doctors and surgeons who dedicated their time to sick children. Each met the Prince in turn individually, leaving them with a smile and a night they wouldn’t forget.
Celebrity figures also showed their support by delivering awards to the winners alongside the duo presenters Vernon Kay and Tess Daly.
Businessman and ‘Dragon’ Duncan Bannatyne was moved by the support WellChild gives.
He said: “I love the way the children are awarded for their bravery, they are the focus of tonight.”
Children’s TV characters Dick and Dom (Richard McCourt and Dominic Wood) were honoured to attend.
“It’s really heart-warming to be here. It’s one of the sobering points in the year where all year you’re caught up in your own worries until you come here and meet such inspirational people,” said Dick.
Other guests included singer Pixie Lott, Karen Brady, Rod Stewart, Tim Vine and Made in Chelsea’s Francesca Hull and Ollie Locke, who were greeted by WellChild volunteers, including 19-year-old University of Gloucestershire volunteer Jessie Harrison.
“I heard about WellChild through university and found they do the most amazing work. As an Events Management student, it has been a real experience helping at these awards.”
For more information about the charity, go to Wellchild