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There with You: Richard House Children’s Hospice launches Easter appeal so it can continue ‘creating memories’ for families

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 March 2020

Usually, people give Easter eggs to the hospice's children at this time of year, but instead Richard House staff are asking if people can donate the cost of a chocolate treat instead. Picture: Hope Lanek

Usually, people give Easter eggs to the hospice's children at this time of year, but instead Richard House staff are asking if people can donate the cost of a chocolate treat instead. Picture: Hope Lanek

Archant

A children’s hospice is urgently appealing for donations after the coronavirus put a stop to its fundraising events.

Richard House supports children and families from across east London. Picture: Hope LanekRichard House supports children and families from across east London. Picture: Hope Lanek

Richard House Children’s Hospice’s staff look after youngsters coping with life threatening or limiting conditions from Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets.

For every £4 the Beckton based hospice spends, £3 comes in the form of donations from the community and the rest from government.

But Richard House has been forced to cancel or postpone its fundraising events, including its 20th anniversary party in June, because of the coronavirus. Activities for the children and their families have also been put on hold.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced the hospice to close its doors to non-essential staff, although it continues to offer care and support for bereaved families.

Usually, people give Easter eggs to the hospice's children at this time of year, but instead Richard House staff are asking if people can donate the cost of a chocolate treat instead. Picture: Hope LanekUsually, people give Easter eggs to the hospice's children at this time of year, but instead Richard House staff are asking if people can donate the cost of a chocolate treat instead. Picture: Hope Lanek

Chris Williams, head of community and events, said: “We really need our community to get behind us, particularly over Easter which is a time of giving and reflection.

“We’re a lifeline for a lot of families many of which weren’t getting support. They were on the brink of losing their jobs or homes.

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“Not knowing whether your child is going to grow up must be terrifying for any parent. We’re there to help support as much as we can.”

Usually at this time of year, the hospice receives donations of Easter eggs and gifts, but the £5,000 online appeal invites people to donate what cash they can instead.

The money will be spent on day trips and activities when it’s safer to do so for some of the children and young adults at the hospice, which treats up to 260 patients per year.

Without its trips, some parents and carers are looking after their children without any respite.

Chris said: “There’s a myth about children’s hospices being very sad, but actually it’s the complete opposite.

“It’s about living life to the full and having fun, all of the activities we would normally do. That is the essence of Richard House. It’s about creating memories and living life.

“It’s sad to see events being cancelled. Every event cancelled has a massive knock on effect. Any support we can harness over Easter would be vital really,” he added.

To donate visit JustGiving.


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