Downton Abbey star Jim Carter OBE joined his wife and fellow actress Imelda Staunton CBE in voicing an animation in support of Richard House Children’s Hospice. With a major gap predicted in future fundraising income due to the pandemic and the threat of closure still a possibility the hospice doors have stayed open as a result of the incredible support received over the past 5 months. Despite all of this, the hospice anticipates the next 8 months to be toughest yet, with a predicted income shortfall in excess of £500,000.

The animation was produced by creative strategists Jen Lane and Simon Amster who offered their time in creating the animation pro bono, available to view here:

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.

7 year-old Hope who suffers from a rare life-limiting condition called neutropenia has attended the hospice since 2014. Her full-time career and grandfather John said:

"People lean on Richard House for so much support, the palliative care, respite, social events, the list is endless, and it has all been missed during lockdown. It would be an absolute disaster if Richard House folded, it would have a much wider impact on the community, the most vulnerable children and their families."

Imelda Staunton CBE said:

"Richard House does invaluable work for children with life limiting conditions and their families. 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. Please join me in supporting Richard House."

Jim Carter OBE said:

"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."

With the recession and the tough times we are facing leading to a decrease in charitable giving, Richard House faces an uphill battle to ensure its doors remain open,  John, grandfather to Hope said:

"Richard House does what it does best and I encourage everyone to support the hospice without a doubt, because it is vital to the community and to the  community of children with serious illness."

Help us continue to be here after the recession

A special thanks to the team behind the animation including Communications Strategist,  Chetan Murthy and consultancies Short Films London, Terrier Social, Beetroot Music and We Can Make.