THE work of a Herefordshire charity which offers support to people who have a seriously ill relative was praised by the Earl of Wessex during a virtual royal visit.

Prince Edward spoke to members of Hope Support Services in Ross-on-Wye during the virtual visit to discuss their vital work.

The charity offers national support to young people who have a loved one who is seriously ill, and the charity said their support has been "more needed than ever" during the current pandemic.

Service users and families played a major role in the visit, as young people who access the charity’s digital service spoke to the Prince.

They were joined by a family from Herefordshire who, in normal times, accesses the charity’s face-to-face support, but are currently taking part in some of the new, virtual activities the charity is putting on.

The Earl was said to be particularly impressed with the unique nature of Hope's Youth Management Team and Youth Advisory Team.

“Our youth teams play a vital part in keeping our service relevant to young people,” said chief executive Michael Sharp.

“We were delighted to introduce them to His Royal Highness alongside the families we support.”

James Greenfield, chair of the board of trustees added: “All of us at Hope, from those who use the service to our staff and volunteers, were thrilled to receive a ‘virtual’ visit from the Prince.

“It was fantastic to be able to showcase the sheer hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of our entire team to His Royal Highness."