Thursday 9th July 2020

During the heartfelt, and at times emotional ceremony, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie: 

  • Learnt from the NHS as they uncover the challenging reality of working as part of its COVID-19 response 
  • Spoke of their own experience of the NHS as Princess Eugenie’s father-in-law received care for Coronavirus 
  • Humbled by bravery of young people with cancer speaking out and supporting others  

 
Nine individuals shared a virtual stage with royalty as TRH Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie celebrated their dedication to young people with cancer, at an emotive and heartfelt awards ceremony.  

The inaugural Teenage Cancer Trust 2020 Awards, supported by Morgan Stanley, exemplify inspirational people and The Princesses honoured the winners as they learned of their dedication to the charity – despite the challenges of a global pandemic - reliving personal moments and hearing accounts from staff on the NHS frontline. 

The Princesses, who are Honorary Patrons of the charity, presented the awards via Zoom last week (Tuesday 30 June) to help shine a spotlight on the incredible people who exemplify the purpose, values and passion of Teenage Cancer Trust.  

The winners of the Teenage Cancer Trust 2020 Awards, supported by Morgan Stanley, are: 

  • Crystal Marshall (21), from Birmingham, who was diagnosed at 18 with a rare form of bone cancer 
  • Nicky Pettitt, Nurse Consultant, at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital 
  • Julie Gonzalez, Youth Support Coordinator at Birmingham Children’s Hospital 
  • Fundraiser Enid Waterfall (85), from Wrexham 
  • Fundraisers Mike (73) and Pascale O’Leary (60), from Hastings 
  • Fundraisers Rod Smallwood & Alexander Milas of The Truants and Heavy Metal Truants 
  • Alex Charlton (24), from Banff, Aberdeenshire, who was diagnosed at 23 with Hodgkin Lymphoma 

HRH Princess Eugenie said: 

“It has been a real honour for Beatrice and I to present these awards to such dedicated, kind and inspiring individuals. Hearing what it has been like working on the frontline, the personal stories that drive fundraising and how inspirational young people have campaigned in the face of adversity – and all during a global pandemic - will stay with us forever. 

“Beatrice and I have grown up with Teenage Cancer Trust. We have been inspired by our mother, who is an Honorary Patron of this incredible charity, and support it in what is its – and my - 30th year. We’ve shared many experiences along the way and people like these worthy award winners truly inspire us.” 

Kate Collins, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust, said:  

“These awards have been created to recognise the fantastic contributions & achievements of people right across the Teenage Cancer Trust community, and in particular, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the contributions of those who stepped up during the Coronavirus crisis.  

“We are nothing without the support of everyone who makes our work possible. Whether that be our staff working within the NHS to support young people, our fundraisers, our patrons and our corporate partners.  All the amazing nominees and winners are part of the glue that keep the charity together and because of them, we are able to support thousands of young people with cancer right across the UK.”  

The Princesses heard from Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator, Julie Gonzalez, and  Nurse Consultant Nicky Pettitt, about their response to Coronavirus and how despite the challenges of trying to show empathy from behind a mask, adapting services overnight and the reality of redeployment to support the national Coronavirus effort, they continued to provide vital support to young people with cancer. 

On receiving her award, Nicky said:  

“It’s incredibly flattering to be nominated for an award but as a leader, you are an enabler of others and you support those around you to grow and develop.  

“All my colleagues both in the NHS and internally at the charity, have and continue to contribute to a legacy of teamwork which is what this award signifies. This award is dedicated to the outstanding contribution that each of my colleagues, locally, regionally and nationally has made to the young people currently in our care, or who will need it in the future.”  

Princess Eugenie spoke of her own personal experience of the NHS during the pandemic, following her father-in-law’s admittance to intensive care - who later recovered - with Coronavirus. She spoke of receiving the daily updates from healthcare teams on his health and asked Nicky of her redeployment to Birmingham’s Family Liaison where she provided similar support to families.  

Nicky, who was a Teenage Cancer Trust Nurse and took on additional duties to support NHS colleagues respond to the pandemic, said: “I think as a cancer nurse you are used to having difficult and complex conversations, so the skillset is there and that becomes very transferable. It was very humbling experience really. We didn’t realise the impact we would have both for the patient’s family at home and for being that lifeline.  

“I think everyone needs a medal in the NHS. Working in hospital with sick people is one thing and I think we manage that well, but then you can go home and that can be a safe space. But coronavirus has invaded every corner of everybody’s life and so there is a balance that is quite hard to achieve. I am so proud of the west midlands team that has manged to do that and keep the young people at the heart of everything.” 

Crystal, a young person from person from Birmingham spoke of the courage and strength of her mother that helped her through her cancer diagnosis. A sentiment echoed by the Princesses who spoke of the inspiration they harness from their own mother.  

Later, when speaking to 13-year-long Teenage Cancer Trust fundraisers, Mike and Pascale O’Leary, Mike spoke of the inspiration, drive and determination, to raise over £830,000 for the charity and during lockdown.  In response, Princess Eugenie said: “People like you inspire us. You inspire one person and hopefully that continues.” 

Unstoppable fundraiser Enid Waterfall’s story filled the room with emotion as the Princesses remarked on never-ending fundraising efforts she and her family have undertaken, to show appreciation for the care her grandson Richard received. Richard was supported by Teenage Cancer Trust for Ewing’s Sarcoma aged 21, before he sadly passed away in January 2018. 

Princess Eugenie told Enid she was sorry to hear about her grandson Richard and said, “what an amazing thing to do in honour of his memory. It must be so difficult to go through that.” 

Enid said: “You feel closer to Richard when you are doing it. It’s not me, it’s the people who give, the people who work with me and who keep giving money time after time. This really is for all those people, my family and for Richard who did so much fundraising before he died. I’m delighted to win this award.” 

Just last week, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie heard from six young people in the North West who are being helped by the charity’s specialist nurses and youth support co-ordinators based in Manchester.  

Reflecting on last week’s Zoom discussion, Princess Beatrice said: “I came away with such a feeling of hope and inspiration and also the amazing work that the team at Teenage Cancer Trust has delivered for them It was a remarkable conversation and the bravery all witnessed on that call is incredibly touching.” 

Kate Collins continues: “There are so many incredible people out there who support the work of Teenage Cancer Trust. We’d like to celebrate them all and take the time to say thank you.  That’s why we have established these awards and I am really looking forward to more awards later this year that will mark our 30th anniversary as a charity, and the huge commitment of so many who have helped us deliver so much for young people with cancer since 1990. We’re also planning to have awards happen on an annual basis so we can celebrate and thank so many of the people who embody what the charity stands for.”  

For more information about Teenage Cancer Trust visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/awards

ENDS  

  • Collected photos of participants and screen grabs from the film can be downloaded via WeTransfer here
  • View highlights package suitable for online and broadcast edits here: https://youtu.be/iOU4X_TQGdg 
  • View the awards footage suitable for online and broadcast edits here: https://youtu.be/tWJ-_3Y6bOg (includes winner interactions with The Princesses) 

Opening remarks from Teenage Cancer Trust Chief Executive and Princesses – start to 1:18 
Wrexham’s Enid Waterfall – 1:18 to 3:02 
Birmingham’s Julie Gonzalez – 3:02 to 4:10 
Birmingham’s Crystal Marshall – 4:10 to 6:02 
Sussex’s Mike and Pascale O’Leary – 6:02 to 9:11 
Scotland’s Alex Charlton – 9:11 to 10:50 
The Heavy Metal Truants – 10:50 to 13:27 
Birmingham’s Nicky Pettitt – 13:27 to 16:52 
Closing remarks from Princesses and Teenage Cancer Trust Chief Executive – 16:52 to close 

To set up an interview or for further information, please contact: 

Lauren Snaith, Media and PR Manager, on 07852 998234 or email lauren.snaith@teenagecancertrust.org  

Ruwani Purcell, Deputy Director of Communications on 07958 222580 or email Ruwani.purcell@teenagecancertrust.org  

For out of hours media enquiries, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 0757 225 1265. 

Key to who is in the Zoom call:  

(Top left to right: Kate Collins, Chief Executive, Teenage Cancer Trust, Dr Adrian Whiteson OBE and Myrna Whiteson MBE, Founders and Life Presidents of Teenage Cancer Trust, Enid Waterfall, Julie Gonzalez, Alexander Milas, Crystal Marshall, Nicky Pettitt, Rod Smallwood, Emma Tamblingson of Morgan Stanley, Mike and Pascale O’Leary, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice) 

About Teenage Cancer Trust 

  • Cancer isn’t stopping for Coronavirus and neither is Teenage Cancer Trust. The charity has launched an urgent fundraising appeal to raise £5 million to maintain its frontline services. Donate today: www.teenagecancertrust.org/donate 
  • Every day, seven young people in the UK aged 13 to 24 hear the words "you have cancer". 
  • Teenage Cancer Trust puts young people in the best possible place, physically, mentally and emotionally, for their cancer treatment and beyond.  
  • We do it through our expert nurses, support teams, and hospital units. And we're the only UK charity dedicated to providing this specialised nursing care and support. 
  • Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757