Santa pops in for special Christmas at Richard House children’s hospice

Shabani family meet Santa dropping in at Richard House hospice

Shabani family meet Santa dropping in at Richard House hospice - Credit: Richard House

Santa popped in to make it a special Christmas at a children’s hospice in east London which treats youngsters with life-threatening conditions.

Children up to 13 years old were treated with their families to entertainment, music, art, face painting and a pantomime at Richard House Hospice at Beckton.

But the youngsters really made a bee-line for Santa’s grotto.

Older children and teenagers had a very different party the next day with a theme of comic book super heroes. Catwoman, Spiderman and Batman were among the heroes who arrived at the hospice in Richard House Drive near Beckton District Park, while staff performed a superhero pantomime.

The hospice provides free care and services to children with complex health conditions and their families from all over London.

It offers day care, short-residential stays and support in the home to children from birth until their 20th birthday. There is always a bed set aside for emergency and end-of-life care. Many children are not expected to reach adulthood.

But Richard House needs to raise £3 million every year to keep going. A palliative nurse for a month’s care per child, for example, costs the charity more than £3,000.

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