Nick Davis/The Royal Foundation
Simon Perry
June 19, 2014 12:15 PM

The Duchess of Cambridge is continuing to give back behind the scenes.

Praising the work of those helping seriously ill young people and their families, Princess Kate made a secret visit to The Treehouse in Suffolk – which is run by one of her patronages, East Anglia Children’s Hospices.

Kate, 32, has placed the needs of sick children at the center of her public life. As well as being patron of EACH, she has made it a priority to visit hospices around the world, including stops in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia, in hopes of promoting cooperation between the organizations.

Now, in Children’s Hospice Week, which is centered on raising money and awareness for those helping kids with life-limiting illnesses, she says in a statement, “Around the clock support is crucial for children receiving palliative care.”

“They and their families often need help every hour of every day, both in hospices and at home. As Patron of EACH, I have seen first-hand this remarkable and varied work and just how vital the support of staff and volunteers can be to the families of children with life-limiting conditions.”

She adds, “It has been wonderful to see the fantastic public support for Children’s Hospice Week over the last few days. Please continue supporting your local children’s hospice in whatever way you can.”

Kate meets with volunteers
Nick Davis/The Royal Foundation

The Treehouse holds a special meaning for the duchess, who delivered her maiden speech as a royal at the hospice.

But this time it was a quiet visit, where, a royal source says, she wanted to learn more about the services that are required for families with seriously ill children. She was also shown the role that volunteers can play for children’s hospices – an issue “she is exploring further” through the Royal Foundation set up in her name and that of Princes William and Harry.

Because of the sensitivity of the visit, EACH are not revealing any more details of whom she met. In a statement, chief executive Graham Butland praised her because she put “children’s hospice services in the U.K. at the forefront of people’s minds and allowed us to demonstrate the full and flexible range of services families can benefit from 24/7.”

He adds, “The very active role the duchess plays, both publicly and in private, is considerable and much appreciated by our staff, volunteers and of course the children, young people and families using our services.

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