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Saint Francis Hospice and Dagenham family says big thank you to BBC’s Children in Need for its funding and support

PUBLISHED: 18:30 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:42 17 November 2017

The late Sir Terry Wogan, who was a stalwart of Children in Need, with Pudsey the bear. Picture: PA

The late Sir Terry Wogan, who was a stalwart of Children in Need, with Pudsey the bear. Picture: PA

Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Imagesages

As families gather around their sofas to watch this year’s Children in Need, a hospice wishes to say thank you to the charity for all of its support over the years.

Since January, the children and family service at Saint Francis Hospice, Havering-atte-Bower, has cared for 80 children and young people who are bereaved or have been facing the loss of a loved one.

The hospice relies on funding from BBC’s Children in Need for this service, which provides two part-time children and family therapists, training and supervision for the therapist, experience days for children and resources for the sessions such as art materials, games and books.

To coincide with the appeal show which will be aired tonight, Saint Francis Hospice has put together a video to say a massive thank you for its continued support over the past 10 years and highlight the services it provides.

The video features child and family therapist Stella Christou and Kwabena Boamah-Mensah, from Dagenham, along with his two children seven-year-old David and four-year-old Michelle.

Kwabena’s wife Judith was cared for at the hospice’s inpatient unit for six weeks in July and during that time, Kwabena and their children were constantly by her side.

David and Michelle were both given support by Stella.

He said: “For parents and for a family going through that stress, that confidence of the kids being at the right place is amazingly helpful and takes a lot of the stress off and gives us confidence and gives us hope that things would be OK as we went along through this tragic experience.

“Big thank you to Children in Need for sponsoring Saint Francis Hospice.

“For families like us, the help you give them is invaluable.

“The amount of emotional support and physical help that they provide is amazing.

“So a big thank you to you and I hope that you continue doing the great work in terms of supporting them.

“Thank you.”

These services are available at Saint Francis Hospice to any child or young person whose loved ones are or have been under its care.

Family support services manager at the hospice Shahina Haque said: “Bereavement or facing the loss of a loved one can have a devastating impact on a child or young person and we are incredibly grateful to Children in Need for their continued support over the past 10 years.

“We see the life changing difference the support we provide makes to those in need and how important it is to capture the children and young people early on so they have a strong foundation to build on.

“So far, this year, our children and family service, as part of the family support services team, has been able to support 80 children and young people like David and Michelle, thanks to the funding we receive from Children in Need.”

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