Stars shine for children’s hospice

CELEBRITIES staged a star turn to help a hospice raise vital funds.

Imelda Staunton and husband Jim Carter joined 400 guests at a glamorous charity ball last week and raised around �100,000 for Richard House Children’s Hospice, Beckton.

Hospice patron and actress Imelda gave a reading on behalf of a Richard House family. And she was joined by her actor husband Jim Cater, who stars in TV’s Downton Abbey, when they started the evening’s entertainment with party games.

Kulvinder Ghir, from TV’s Goodness Gracious Me, performed a comedy skit.

And one of the hospice’s children, Zoha Butt, 11, had her moment in the spotlight when her parents spoke about what the hospice means to them.

Mum Riffat said: “This was a magical experience for us as it was a chance for us to take our princess to a ball.

“Zoha has a rare condition called Marble Bone Disease and is the oldest surviving person with this disorder, as most children are only expected to live until seven, at best nine’’

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Riffat added: “We believe the care that Richard House has given her has made her healthier and stronger to defeat these odds.

“Money raised from events like the ball will help Zoha and the other children at Richard House to continue to receive the care hey need but will also enable the hospice to give them fun-filled activities, which makes Zoha smile and provides us with happy memories.”

“Unique’’ prizes, including a signed Rolling Stones’ guitar, a basketball autographed by Seb Coe, Sally Gunnell and other members of the Olympic committee, as well as a Liverpool football package donated by hospice patron and soccer star Joe Cole were auctioned at the event at the Grange Hotel, St Paul’s.