Local girl, 9 , runs birthday fundraiser, raising money in aid of seriously ill children in Beckton hospice Not many 9 year olds would swap birthday presents for charity donations, but that is exactly what Bella Ngugi has decided to do. Learning about Richard House from her mum, Belinda and inspired by the help the hospice provides for seriously ill children 9 year old Bella from Newham is asking for donations instead of birthday presents in aid of life-limited children. Bella said: “I want to make a difference to the lives of children who are in need in my local area. Because of COVID-19 more people have been unwell since the start of the pandemic. I hope to inspire other people to be a little bit kinder during this time that has been difficult for so many, and I hope my efforts help in bringing smiles to the faces of children at Richard House.” The Beckton based hospice is located at the heart of the COVID triangle, supporting families living in the top three boroughs worse affected and with the highest mortality rates of COVID-19 in the whole of the UK. For the families they support, Richard House is a safe place in which the most vulnerable children in the community can go to access care and support for complex health needs. Charlie Grey, Community Fundraiser at Richard House said: “we have been blown away by Bella’s kindness and courage! By raising money to support our work for her birthday, she is helping us to reach over 300 families with a seriously ill child in the local community. Without supporters like Bella we would not be able to provide free care for so many children in need across East London. It is rare that such a young person is brave enough to go out into her community and speak on behalf of a cause she believes in. Bella is an inspiration to us all!” Bella’s compassion and generosity has been inspired by her Christian faith; her father, who previously fundraised for an adult hospice; and having spent time with her family in Kenya helping children in schools less fortunate. Her mother Bellinda said: “Helping children less fortunate in Kenya made Bella view the idea of going to school as a privilege; Seeing children honouring their clothes that had holes in them, ironing and caring for them was eye opening for her” Bella’s fundraising efforts include raising awareness of Richard House in her youth club, church and school and even a video on YouTube where she has spoken passionately about the work of the hospice. Richard House relies heavily on the generosity of donors to carry out their vital work for seriously ill children and their families and this year need to raise £4.5 million. You too can make difference, support a life today https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bellasbirthday .