Children’s Hospice thanks local community for bringing joy to seriously ill children over the festive season

Published: January 4, 2018

Families of children with life-limiting illnesses gathered at Richard House Children’s Hospice in Beckton for a festive celebration and to watch their children perform a panto.

Currently Richard House supports around 300 families from Newham, Barking, Dagenham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, City and Hackney, Redbridge, Haringey, Islington, Ilford, Camden and into Essex.

Kirsty Blair, Head of Care said;

“It was inspiring to see so many of the children and their brothers and sisters having such fun together singing and throwing fake snow in our panto. Oh yes they did!

“The courage and strength of our families always amazes me, especially at this time of year, but to see the smiles on the faces of the children is priceless. Every donation, every bit of support counts to us, so thank you.”

Baby Anayah who first came to Richard House when she was eight months old is now twenty months. She comes to Richard House regularly and watched the panto with Kirsty. Anayah suffers from a serious condition and cannot breathe on her own, so she is connected to a ventilator 24 hours a day.

Anayah’s mum Naureen said:

“Richard House is so important to me as it gives me the chance to have a little break and spend time with my two sons and my mother who is ill. The nurses are so good with Anayah, they are amazing; they help in every way you could imagine. It’s fantastic here, Anayah loves it here and so do I. Thank you to everyone who supports Richard House.”

Kevin, who is 10, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Plastic Bronchitis and was a Heart Transplant Recipient last year. He is a regular visitor at Richard House and was the West Ham mascot at their game against Chelsea this month.

Kevin’s mum, Enkeleda said:

“We are and forever will be grateful to each and every person who donates. These donations make sure we have Richard House there for us; a safe and secure place to be, somewhere to relax, cry, laugh and feel we belong. Thank you, thank you! Your donations make a real difference.”

Ibrahim, a long time visitor to the hospice due to his life-limiting illness and having to be fed through a nasogastric tube, took part in the panto as well as his sister. They also came to the families Christmas lunch earlier in the month. Ibrahim’s mum, Rabia said:

“It’s difficult to go anywhere because he has so much medical equipment and medicines. They are very warm at Richard House and very helpful and give time to everyone. Ibrahim and his brothers and sister love it at Richard House! They wake up and say ‘when can I go to Richard House!’ So thank you.”

West Ham United Football Club captain Mark Noble, a long time Richard House Children’s Hospice patron and supporter, met some of the children and families at a party hosted by West Ham this December. He said: “Every time I visit Richard House I am always amazed at the warmth and care there. The children’s happiness and laughter is genuinely inspiring and a lot of them are real characters who you never forget.”

Richard House CEO, Chris Baker, said:

“With the majority of our funding coming from donations, in 2018 we need to raise £3 million to continue looking after seriously ill children and their families, so we are sincerely grateful for the support our local community has shown us.”