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Richard House marks 15th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:12 30 July 2015

Guests at Richard House Children's Hospice's 15th anniversary event, including founder Anthea Hare on the right

Guests at Richard House Children's Hospice's 15th anniversary event, including founder Anthea Hare on the right

Archant

For 15 years, Richard House Children’s Hospice has been caring for east London youngsters and their families.

Visitors look around the photography exhibitionVisitors look around the photography exhibition

To mark the anniversary, the Beckton hospice organised a celebration event to showcase the work it has done during that time.

More than 100 people attended last night’s event, including patrons Sir Trevor Brooking, Stephen Timms MP and Jim Fitzpatrick MP.

Guests were treated to speeches from founder and life president Anthea Hare, chairman Sir Robin Knowles and former user Harry Singh, as well as the chance to look at a timeline and photo exhibition.

Harry, who used the hospice’s services for 10 years, said: “Richard House will always be the place where I was able to become a teenager and have the opportunity and chance to dream, and to pursue whatever passions I had in my life.”

Richard House Children's Hospice chief executive Peter Ellis with hospice ambassador Harry SinghRichard House Children's Hospice chief executive Peter Ellis with hospice ambassador Harry Singh

One of the first people to benefit from Richard House’s care when it opened in 2000 was Matthew Porter’s daughter Katie.

She was diagnosed with Tay Sachs disease, a genetic disorder that causes progressive damage to the nervous system, and died in 2002 aged four.

Matthew said: “Being here tonight was a chance for me to relive positive memories and re-engage with the vision of the charity” and described the family’s experience with Richard House as “the counterbalance to the desperation of Katie’s diagnosis”.

Richard House chief executive Peter Ellis, who also spoke at the celebration, added: “Without the hard work of so many people our hospice would never have got off the ground, let alone grow to provide care and support to nearly 1,000 local families.

A visitor looks at the timelineA visitor looks at the timeline

“Tonight was a great opportunity to thank many of these people.”


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