In advance of the United Nations’s World Children’s Day on 20th November, four Young Ambassadors from medical research charity The Scar Free Foundation met patron HRH The Countess of Wessex for afternoon tea at St James’s Palace this week.
Delilah (aged 12), Elizabeth (age 8), Abi (age 10) and Emily (age 11) joined The Countess at the palace along with their mothers, Brendan Eley, CEO of The Scar Free Foundation and Amanda McKechnie, also from the charity.
Her Royal Highness heard the Young Ambassadors’ stories about what it is like to live with scarring. Delilah and Elizabeth are both burns survivors, having been involved in accidents when they were younger. Abi and Emily have cleft lip and palate.
Delilah said “People would stare and when I was growing up children would be scared to play with me. But I learned to explain – ‘This is me. These are my scars – they don’t hurt’.”
Delilah also explained to The Countess how her fingers haven’t fully formed due to the burn injury which can make certain aspects difficult. Elizabeth shared with Her Royal Highness how her burn injuries have left her without fully formed fingers or fingerprints so – when she is old enough – she won’t be able to use the machines at school or use a mobile phone.
Elizabeth’s mum Sinead, and Delilah’s mum both spoke about the itching caused by scarring and how difficult that can be to experience on a daily basis.
The Countess of Wessex said to the Ambassadors: “I am so grateful to have you helping to educate and inform people about the problems of scarring. Your knowledge is power and you are helping The Scar Free Foundation to make people more aware by sharing your stories. It’s important that people see the person, not just the scars.”
Abi and Emily said: “The Scar Free Foundation has brought us together, and we loved meeting the Countess today.”
The Scar Free Foundation is the only charity to focus solely on scarring. Over the last 20 years it has overseen a £50 million programme of life-changing medical research, working with leading clinicians and researchers in world-class institutions across the UK. It aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation for the millions of people living with scarring in the UK and across the world.
The United Nations’ World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 and is celebrated every year on 20th November. This year’s theme is ‘A better future for every child’.
LinkedIn: The Scar Free Foundation