Duchess of Cornwall thanks children's hospice for dedication during pandemic

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Charlotte Briere-Edney

The Duchess of Cornwall has been in Oxford to meet families at Helen and Douglas House to see how they have been coping during the pandemic.

Camilla is patron of the charity, which supports children with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Camilla visits Helen and Douglas House in Oxford. Credit: ITV News Meridian

During her visit the Duchess was shown paper butterflies on one of the trees in the garden with messages from bereaved families.

She praised the work of staff and volunteers at the hospice saying: "I wish there were more of these hospices."

Staff from the charity provided help to families via remote video calls when the nation was in lockdown.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets with mother Vaida Ali and her daughter Fatima, nine, during a visit to the Helen & Douglas House. Credit: Henry Nicholls/PA Wire/PA Images

Camilla said: "I just wanted to thank all of you - all the staff and volunteers and all the parents and families.

"I know how hard it is for them, but somehow this place has a way of sort of uplifting you."

Zoe and Jake Lynch from Abingdon told the Duchess how after their 12-week-old son Toby was diagnosed with a rare neurometabolic disease, they received help and support from the hospice before he died. And they continued to receive support after his death.

Camilla said: "That is what is so wonderful about the Helen and Douglas, you get the aftercare, you're not just left on your own."