Stars voice animation in support of Richard House Children’s Hospice

Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton at Richard House Children's Hospice. Picture: Hope Lanek

Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton at Richard House Children's Hospice. Picture: Hope Lanek - Credit: Hope Lanek

Downton Abbey stars Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton have voiced an animation calling for help in ensuring Richard House Children’s Hospice has a future.

The Beckton hospice is marking its 20th anniversary this year but is facing a lack of future fundraising income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has remained open throughout the Covid-19 crisis but is set to face a shortfall of more than £500,000 over the next eight months.

A spokesperson for the hospice revealed the threat of closure was still a possibility, adding: “This year Richard House Children’s Hospice should have been celebrating 20 years of caring for life-limited children and supporting their families.

“Instead the 20th anniversary fundraising events have had to be cancelled and many of its traditional sources of funds have dried up. At the same time, since lockdown ended demand for its services has increased.”

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The need to keep money coming in to allow Richard House to continue supporting children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses has prompted the acting couple - both patrons of the hospice - to voice the animated appeal.

Imelda said: “Richard House does invaluable work for children with life limiting conditions and their families.

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“I am proud to have been able to support this wonderful organisation for more than 15 years in my capacity as patron.

“The threat of Covid-19, and its impact on fundraising in particular, means that Richard House needs support now more than ever.”

Jim added: “Richard House offers a sanctuary to so many vulnerable children and their families and I have been privileged and excited to see it flourish in the years that I have been a patron.

“Richard House is often filled with joy and laughter. It offers expert, practical support and helps build precious memories for children with limited life expectancy.”

Creative strategists Jen Lane and Simon Amster volunteered their time to produce the 40 second animation itself, which depicts families using the hospice’s facilities.

To support Richard House’s urgent fundraising appeal, visit

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