7 year old Heera set up a toy and kindness bank with £45 from her piggy bank, in tribute to her grandmother and everyone who lost their lives due to covid-19. The kindness and generosity led her to donate a number of toys to Richard House Children’s Hospice, who provides end of life care.

When Heera sadly lost her grandmother during the pandemic, she was struck by the kind gesture of a family friend who sent condolences in the form of a card and teddy bear, just to say “thinking of you”. Heera’s family regularly donate to a food bank and when in a supermarket with her mother Nadia, Heera questioned why they were only buying food to donate. Heera said:

“If families need food they must be struggling to buy other things, children need toys too”

When Heera and her mother Nadia discovered that there were no toy banks to donate to, Heera gathered her pocket money to support those in the local community affected by grief. Nadia, Mum to Heera said:

“We soon realised just how much support was needed in the local community. The whole family pulled together to help. In the evenings we would come home, check the emails, and contact families who were bereaved and need the support.

“My daughter said she wanted to raise £500 and help 200 children. So far, we’ve raised over 2,500 and helped organisations such as Richard House Children’s Hospice, Great Ormand Street and local schools. Everyone has been so generous with donations. I’d known about Richard, and knowing that they provide end of life care, we wanted to spread the kindness out to everyone there.”

Many of the children and families who receive lifeline care at Richard House live within the “Covid Triangle”, an area of East London with some of the highest rates of child poverty, covid infection and death rates, in the whole of the UK. For many vulnerable families, Richard House is another safe place to go, with the hospice currently supporting the NHS through the admission of additional seriously ill children who would otherwise have remained in hospital.

Heera’s latest fundraising efforts for the toy bank involved a bike ride in order to purchase items for donation including books, art supplies and more.

From the moment a child is diagnosed with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, everything changes. And these changes affect the whole family, which is why it is vital to provide not only care to the child, but support to the whole family as well. To do this Richard House services range from specialised clinical care, to art, music, and dance therapy; giving the child the opportunity to explore what is happening to them in a safe environment, through to end of life care and pre and post bereavement support for all the family.  

Richard House relies heavily on the generosity of donors to carry out their vital work for seriously ill children and their families. A gift in memory of a loved one could help us to provide support, respite care, therapies, activities and trips for our children, siblings and families https://www.richardhouse.org.uk/donate-in-memory