Anthea’s 20 year career as a nurse working directly with families informed her vision of establishing a hospice to provide professional care for sick children.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, due to Anthea’s work with children who had been admitted to the Royal London Hospital, East London with terminal illness, she became increasingly aware of the pressure on both young patients and their families. Having grown up with an autistic brother, who sadly died as a young man in 1971, and through personal memories of her parent’s experiences, she realised there was a need for ‘space’ for both young patients and their families to enable a balanced life. This was the founding stone for Richard House.
In 1989, she gave up her nursing career to devote time to the creation of Richard House children’s hospice, named after her late brother Richard.
In 1990 Anthea created the charity Richard House Trust. Working largely on her own and making a number of personal and professional sacrifices she lobbied others to share her vision towards the creation of Richard House. By 2000 she had raised the four million pounds needed to open the hospice.
Offering specialist respite care to children and young people with a wide range of life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, Richard House allows its young visitors to have a break away from home, to enjoy a change of scene, and to give their families time to recuperate and be ready to return to the day to day care of their child.
Through a committed team of trustees, staff and volunteers, the love that exudes from Richard House makes it far more than bricks, mortar and medicine. It is a home away from home.
Anthea’s enthusiasm, motivation and determination were able to make her reality a dream. Anthea remains involved with Richard House and her input continues to inform the range of services to support life-limited children, young people and their families.
Her dedication and life skills have made her a true inspiration and she has clearly touched the lives of many in a passionate and positive way.