Published 31 August 2011

I feel in awe of individuals with such determination, resolve, and strength to take on the challenges they face.

The Duke of Sussex

It is a privilege to be here this evening, among people with such extraordinary spirit.

Just before tonight’s ceremony, I was fortunate to be able to spend some time with all of our winners – fortunate, because they are an inspiration. It sounds selfish to say this, but I always come away from here feeling uplifted, just from being with such great people.

It is also a humbling experience. I feel in awe of individuals with such determination, resolve, and strength to take on the challenges they face. It is equally heart-warming to meet those who dedicate themselves to caring for these remarkable children and young people, and hear all that they do to make their lives the very best that they can be. Your example is an inspiration to the rest of us.

Everyone who we are honouring tonight – from the children and their families through to those who care for them and others – show us exactly why charities like WellChild are so crucial. I have been involved with WellChild for a long time now. I have seen at first-hand the impact this wonderful charity can have on people’s lives. The stories we have heard tonight are just the tip of the iceberg. WellChild improves the lives of many hundreds of children and young people, and their families.

Tonight I would also like to pay tribute to a very special group of people in this room: Our growing team of WellChild Children’s Nurses. You make a huge difference to the lives of seriously ill children up and down this country. In a slightly different, but just as important way, I would like to applaud the work of the WellChild researchers and volunteers, whose commitment is a shining example to us all.

So, as your Patron, and on behalf of everyone here - thank you, WellChild. Please keep doing what you do so brilliantly. You have achieved so much and there is so much more to do.

Congratulations once again to all of our winners. Have a great evening, and thank you for continuing to support WellChild in its important work.