Richard House Children’s Hospice has unveiled a Premium Partners initiative aimed at wealthy companies and individuals

At the launch at Clublounge39 in One Canada Square, on Tuesday, November 8, Ruksana Hussain, mother to Haider, who suffers from mitochondrial disease and regularly uses the hospice’s services explained what the Beckton charity had meant to her and her family.

“My son has been using Richard House for more than 10 years,” she said.

“He needs round the clock care. He’s a wheel chair user and is unable to communicate.

“Caring for a child like my son can be quite challenging and exhausting, physically and mentally.

“When I first heard of Richard House it was a bad time in my life. My eldest child who had similar disabilities had died and my social worker asked if I’d consider it for Haider.

“I wasn’t interested. A hospice to me was a place where a child goes to die. I wasn’t ready to give my child to a place like that.

“However, I did eventually go and look around. When I walked through the doors, it was nothing like I’d imagined.

“I did see ill children but they were happy children. It had a beautiful atmosphere. The staff were really friendly and so I allowed Haider to go there just for day care.

“He was going there quite regularly and it allowed me time to spend time with my daughter

“We were all under a great deal of pressure and we tried a respite stay.

“I’ll never forget the first time he stayed over because it was the first time we didn’t have to wake up through the night. It was a good thing for everyone.

“Then, last year, we left him at Richard House and we went away for a holiday.

“That meant everything for me – for me and my daughter.

“My husband and I didn’t have to divide our time between the children.

“That was the first time for 10 years we were able to go on holiday and if it wasn’t for Richard House it would never have happened.”

The event, which was hosted by patrons Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton also heard from Ruksana’s daughter, Humiara, about how the charity helps whole families.

She said: “I attended the siblings groups at Richard House

“The first one I attended, I remember we had to create our own superhero and mine was a female version of Superman,” said Humiara 18.

“I was so happy. I came home and told my parents I couldn’t wait to go back.

“I continued to go for several years and I learnt many things along the way.

“I learnt I wasn’t the only person who had a sibling with special needs, that I was not alone.

“We tried bowling and sailing and went on loads of cinema trips and outings to football games.

“Now I’m 18 I can’t attend any more but I’ve started to raise money for Richard House.

“I did a sponsored abseil down the Orbit in the Olympic Park and hopefully I’m going to start at the hospice as a full volunteer soon.

“I want people to know those donating aren’t just helping the children with special needs but also their families.”

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