Former England footballing legend, Joe Cole, to kayak across the channel in aid of children’s hospice

Published: March 27, 2019

Former West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool legend, Joe Cole, is embarking on a fundraising challenge whereby he and a friend will be rowing across the channel, from the UK to France, in their own Kayaks. He will be doing this to raise funds for Richard House Children’s Hospice, and his friend, David Horton for his son who has cerebral palsy.

Joe said: “I first came across Richard House when I was a 17 year old at West Ham. The club had great connections with the hospice, we would have regular visits there as a team and I always remember how amazing the staff were and the smiles they bought to all the children faces. That’s what made me want to continue working with the charity even after I left West Ham and so I decided to become a patron and have been supporting the hospice ever since.” 

Joe is looking forward to this challenge although he admits it is going to be tough however is pleased to have his friend, David, alongside to help dig in during the tough periods of the paddle. Inspired by the sense of self achievement and pride once they get to the shore in France, Joe hopes to leave a lasting legacy for Richard House long into the future.

“The mental endurance and physical pain will all be worth it when we are looking back across the channel seeing how far we have crossed to help support causes close to both our hearts. I was privileged enough to live out the dream I had as a young boy. Sadly a lot of these children don’t get that chance, so as a patron of Richard House Children’s Hospice I feel it’s my duty to make sure I support and help raise funds for their vital work with life-limited children across London.”

Clare Roche, Head of Fundraising, said: “We are in awe of Joe and incredibly grateful for his support, both in fundraising and as a Richard House Patron! The support of our community is essential as we receive limited statutory funding. This means that for every £4 we spend, £3 has to come from fundraising and each year we need to raise £3.5 million to continue to provide our services. We are thrilled to show him the lasting impact his channel kayak will have to children living with life limiting conditions and their families across east London!”

From the moment a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, everything changes and these changes affect the whole family, which is why it is vital to provide not only care to the child, but support to the whole family as well. To do this Richard House services range from specialised clinical care, to art, music, and dance therapy; giving a child the opportunity to explore what is happening to them in a safe environment, through to end of life care and pre and post bereavement support for all the family.

Joe is helping us care for local children and their families and through our services, helping them to live as full a life as possible. You can do it Joe!

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