Remarkable children and health professionals from across the UK receive national WellChild Award from The Duke of Sussex

Remarkable children and health professionals from across the UK have been named as winners in the prestigious national 2023 WellChild Awards, in association with GSK.

By Charlotte Edwards · September 7, 2023

Winners received their awards on September 7th at a star-studded ceremony at the Hurlingham Club in London, where each winner and their families spent time with WellChild Patron, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex at a pre-ceremony reception.

The Awards are run by WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children. They celebrate the inspirational qualities of children and young people living with serious illnesses or complex medical needs and honour the dedication of those around them who go the extra mile to keep these children healthy and happy.

This year’s winners include Ruky Anighoro, a teenager from Thamesmead who has a form of brittle bone disease and is entirely adult dependent and received his special recognition award for his positivity and resilience after being nominated by his mother; Poppy Higham, a six year old from Runcorn who was awarded for the care she provides to her older sister Paige who has complex health needs and Hayley Cassin who won the Inspirational 12-14 year old award for pushing through her adversities and promoting wellbeing via her wheelchair rugby and basketball achievements.

Professional category awards include Dr Richard Chavasse, a Paediatric Respiratory Consultant at St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation who has spearheaded significant developments in the service;  Hannah Lines, a ventilation nurse specialist at Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice in West Sussex; Nell Cockell, a chaplain from Rugby who works across Warwickshire with children and families who have complex and life-limiting illnesses; Lucinda Andrews from Chatham, a tireless campaigner for children who, like her two-year-old son Leo, have the severe and unpredictable neurodegenerative disorder, TBCD and Kelvin Donaghy, a carer from Bodmin, who has set up and runs an inclusive social club for young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex has been WellChild Patron for 15 years and has provided invaluable help – equally in raising awareness and financial contributions – to ensure the charity can pursue its mission to improve the quality of life for seriously ill children and their families.

In a speech at the ceremony The Duke of Sussex said:

“For the years I’ve been Patron of WellChild, I’ve always been amazed by the care and kindness this organization lives and breathes."

The Duke of Sussex

I’ve spoken with countless families who have shared such gratitude for the comprehensive, around-the-clock support they’ve received from WellChild’s family network. I’ve been struck by the immense power that comes from connecting families with others who understand and truly see them – and how WellChild has become an emotional support and information lifeline for many during the pandemic and beyond. The fact this network has since grown to more than 3,000 families is nothing short of remarkable.”

The event, which was also attended by celebrities Tom Felton, Sophie-Ellis Bextor, Danny Jones and was hosted by Gaby Roslin.

WellChild Chief Executive, Matt James said: “The number of children and young people in the UK living with long-term, complex medical needs is growing. The WellChild Awards 2023, in association with GSK, is a unique opportunity to shine a light on the immense challenges they face and to celebrate their remarkable resilience and spirit. It also provides an opportunity to recognise the selfless dedication of those around them, from siblings and parent carers to the professionals who have gone above and beyond to give them the very best chance to thrive.”