Some of the people who have been helped by charities close to the heart of Kate Middleton have been sending birthday messages to the royal on her 40th birthday.
The Duchess of Cambridge was praised by many who’ve faced struggles for her ‘down-to-earth and kind nature’ after her work with charities touched their lives.
Speaking to the Sun, Lynda Sneddon, the mother of six-year-old cancer patient Mila Sneddon, who has met Kate twice, including at her December 8th carol service in Westminster Abbey, thanked the Duchess for making her daughter feel special.
Meanwhile, Holocaust survivor Ike Alterman, who met Kate in September, said he was impressed by her knowledge of the Holocaust and touched that she spent more time with him than she had planned in order to hear his story.
Scroll down for video
On her 40th birthday, Kate Middleton has been praised by those who’ve been helped by her charity work. She’s pictured unloading a pallet of supplies during a visit to Baby Basic UK & Baby Basics Sheffield in August 2020
The Duchess of Cambridge celebrates her 40th birthday on January 9th – those whose lives have been helped by the charity she supports have praised the royal on her birthday
Pictured: Kate meeting six-year-old cancer patient Mila Sneddon at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh in May last year; her mother Lynda Sneddon told the Sun that the Duchess had made her daughter ‘feel special’
A second meeting: Kate helped Mila light a candle during her Together At Christmas carol service in Westminster on December 8th
Sneddon, whose picture of Mila, from Falkirk, and her father waving at each other through their home’s window during the first Coronavirus lockdown went viral, said she never expected the pandemic photo would see Mila meeting the senior royal.
The image, entitled Shielding Mila, was one of the 100 images included in the Duchess of Cambridge’s book Hold Still: A Portrait of Our Nation in 2020.
However, the six-year-old went on to meet the Duchess twice, first at Holyroodhouse in May and then again during the Duchess’ Christmas carol service at Westminster Abbey in December.
The little girl’s mother said the Duchess had a ‘gentle soul’ and had made Mila, who is currently in isolation again after catching the virus, feel comfortable during their meetings.
‘Those moments made Mila feel really special and it was a good distraction from her treatment,’ she said.
‘Now she’s recognised as the happy little girl who met Kate Middleton and not the poor little girl with cancer,’ she added.
In May, she was welcomed by Kate for tea at Holyroodhouse, during her and Prince William’s final day of their week-long visit to Scotland.
‘[Kate] had made a promise [to wear pink],’ the youngster added, noting that the Duchess kept her word to don a pink outfit when meeting after their initial phone call.
Pictured: Carla Delf, 38, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, whose son Fraser died as a result of Coats Plus Syndrome – a rare condition that affects multiple organs and causes brain abnormalities – in January 2020. Fraser pictured with mum Carla, brother Stuie and dad Stuart
The Duchess of Cambridge planted a sunflower in memory of Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died
Carla Delf, 38, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, whose son Fraser died as a result of Coats Plus Syndrome at the age of nine in 2020, thanked the Duchess of Cambridge for planting a tree in his memory.
Fraser’s brother Stuie, 15, was inspired by legendary 100-year-old fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, and vowed to undertake a sponsored five kilometres run every day for a month to raise funds for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, which has seen a dramatic drop in funding due to the pandemic.
Fraser’s family visited the sunflower in Milton in August. Stuie raised £18,000 for the East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) following Fraser’s death
In June 2020, Kate spoke with Stuie and his parents Carla and Stuart on a video call and pledged to plant a sunflower in memory of brave Fraser, who was cared for at East Anglia Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Milton shortly before he died.
Not long after the call, Kate visited EACH’s The Nook, a hospice in Norfolk which she officially opened in November, where she helped plant a sensory garden.
There she planted a sunflower which was moved to the hospice in Cambridgeshire where Fraser spent the last few weeks of his life.
Fraser’s family visited the sunflower shortly after it was moved to the Milton hospice where Fraser was looked after.
The Duchess of Cambridge pictured at the charity Baby Basics UK in Sheffield in August 2020; the project supports families in need struggling to provide for their newborns
The Duchess pictured with a moses basket at the charity’s HQ
At the time, Fraser’s mum Carla said: ‘The sunflower looks so bright and beautiful, just like Fraser. The centre looks like a heart shape, just perfect.
‘I recently saw a poem that said sunflowers choose to live their brightest lives as they know they won’t be around for long and that really fits with Fraser.’
AberNecessities, in Aberdeenshire, was one of the three organisations selected by Kate to help struggling families with young children during lockdown.
Founder Danielle Flecher-Horn, 34, said the opportunity to work alongside the royal had been amazing.
Baby Basics founder Carla Ross, far right, pictured during the Together at Christmas concert in December alongside two mothers who have benefited from Baby Basics UK
She described meeting Kate in person at an event in Sheffield as like meeting an old friend, and applauded the positive impact of Kate’s decision to donate 20,000 items, worth £250,000.
In August, the Duchess opened up about how she was left in tears after visiting a baby bank at the start of lockdown.
‘It can get very emotional,’ she said. ‘I remember a couple of the families I met from King’s Lynn and I went home and literally burst into tears, their stories were so moving.
‘The struggles they have gone through, the bravery they have shown…in extraordinary circumstances. Helping their families through extraordinary times,’ the Duchess said at the time.
Following this emotional experience, Kate persuaded nineteen brands to donate more than 20,000 items to Baby Basics, Little Village and AberNecessities, who operate more than 40 baby banks across the UK.
Kate meeting Holocaust survivor Ike Alterman, from Manchester, in September who was one of the Windermere children rescued from Nazi camps in the Second World War. Ike, 93, said meeting the Duchess of Cambridge was the ‘best day of his life’
Baby Basics’ CEO Cat Ross, 43, from Sheffield, said she was blown away by all the help Kate offered her charity and the amazing work she put out in order to help families in need.
Cat was also invited at the Together At Christmas Christmas concert Kate put together in December.
Meanwhile, Holocaust survivor Ike Alterman, from Manchester, who met Kate in September, was impressed with the royal’s poise and kindness, calling their meeting the ‘best day of his life.’
The 93-year-old was one of the ‘Windemere’ children who were rescued from concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Europe and taken to the Lake District at the end of the Second World War.
Former The Voice contestant Bianca Nicholas, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, said meeting Kate through the charity Starlight in 2008 motivated her to keep on singing, eventually representing the UK during the Eurovision Song Contest of 2015
At the time of their meeting, the royal said it was ‘powerful’ to hear how the lives of the survivors changed forever when they were brought to Cumbria and given the opportunity to begin healing from the trauma of their childhood experiences.
Following the event, Ike told People magazine Kate had been ‘absolutely delightful, adding: ‘we laughed, she asked questions and she wanted to know the answers.’
And former the Voice contestant Bianca Nicholas, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, revealed how meeting Kate Middleton and Prince William through the Starlight charity in 2008 motivated her to keep on singing, eventually representing the UK at the Eurovision song contest in 2015.