Summerfest sizzled with excitement!

Published: August 24, 2017

This weekend Richard House was buzzing, as people from communities across East London came together to enjoy the hospice’s annual community fun day ‘Summerfest’.

Celebrating the event with the children, families and other guests were Doreen Golding BEM Pearly Queen of Old Kent Road and Bow Bells and Freeman of the City of London with Bob Paice Pearly King of Forest Gate who have who has supported Richard House since before it was built.

“We have supported Richard House for many years now and love coming here. Seeing everyone having so much fun, singing and laughing is just what an East End gathering should be. Great to be part of something that means so much to so many children and families who use the marvellous services here.”

Hope is a bright, bubbly cheerful four-and-a-half-year-old who has been coming to Richard House since 2014. John, Hope’s granddad.

“Hope loves coming to Richard House as she gets to meet other children and have fun. It makes me so happy to see how much she is enjoying herself here. She loved meeting the Star Wars pair and with winning her favourite Disney character on the tombola today, she is beaming with an even wider smile than usual!”

The Steel Band’s lilting sounds joined the sunshine to create a festival atmosphere. Opera singer Birgit Beer, West End musicals from Paul and Linda, and popular melodies from Lewie and Linda along with choirs lifted all assembled in the hospice garden. Bhangra dancing and Bollywood singing from Tara Khare and friends so delighted the crowd that some of the children joined in.

Newham Councillor Pat Holland.

“Richard House is in my ward and I have been involved since before it was built, helping to see this much needed hospice be built. Richard House is greatly needed by many children and their families in this community to give them the confidence and reassurance they need to deal with this the serious illnesses that affect their children and them as a whole family. You can see from the many families here today that they do exactly that. I feel it is very important that we all work together and support each other to make our community better for everyone.”

Also attending the event was The Rt Hon Stephen Timms Member of Parliament for East Ham who is heavily involved in its communities and people.

“I am passionate about the wellbeing of the people I serve and Richard House is a great example of people from the differing faiths and cultures which make up this community and beyond, coming together to look after the whole family when they need it. I am delighted to be here and share the celebration of life and the warmth shown here today.”

Councillor Abdul Aziz, the first member of the Muslim community to serve Barking and Dagenham as its Mayor, attended with his wife the Mayoress.

“We are delighted to be part of Richard House summer celebrations and have thoroughly enjoyed our visit, meeting families and staff who make such a difference to so many seriously ill children.”

There was plenty of entertainment for both young and old to enjoy, including a visit from Darth Vader and storm trooper. They were full of the force but decided to use it bring smiles to the children’s faces for the day.

Chief Executive of Richard House, Chris Baker.

“The support and funds from today underpins all we do and ensures we can provide the necessary support to children with life limiting illnesses and to their families. We are looking at new ways of working, increasing the number of partnerships with other organisations, providing far more support in children’s homes and introducing new technologies. The needs of the children and their families will always remain at the centre of what we do and so we are very grateful for all the support here today.”

The event was supported by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Chapter of London as part of their 300th anniversary celebrations with 24 different masonic groups contributing to the event and the work of the hospice. Members from several of these lodges volunteered their time on the day as well, helping with the different games and activities on offer. In total these lodges and chapters were able to raise £15,500, including a special donation of £2,500 from the Metropolitan Masonic Charity, presented by Inspectors from the Metropolitan Grand Lodge.

Masonic friends John Peters and David Wilmot, Senior Visiting Officers from Metropolitan Grand Lodge.

 “We thought it might be a great idea to embrace the Tercentenary objectives to bring some relief and happiness. Summerfest 2017 has been a fantastic success surpassing all our expectations and it was rewarding to see the children and families who are supported by Richard House having a great time with families and friends.”

As a charity Richard House services are free of charge to the families supported and the majority of their funding is thanks to the generosity of the public. With your help, this year Richard House needs to raise £2 million to continue to deliver clinical care, short breaks and other residential services to children and young adults, while supporting their families through therapy and bereavement support.

Find out more about how you can support us.