Toy story

Lily and Oliver Wake recently proved that youthfulness and social distancing are no barriers to raising money for Saint Francis Hospice.

Lily and Oliver Wake

As the government took tiny steps to ease the lockdown, the siblings from Hornchurch set up shop in their front garden.

"We had toys we'd got too big for," explained Lily, aged nine. "We decided to put them outside so people could take them and donate money. We wanted to help the Hospice because they look after sick patients and their families. I enjoyed seeing all the children's faces light up."

Oliver, aged seven, revealed that his neighbours' generosity was the most fun part.

"I liked watching all the people put money in the pot," he said.

"It was lovely to see them doing something to help others," beamed Julia Wake — a very proud mum. Julia's connection with our Hospice began when she was also a child. Since caring for her grandad, we went on to care for her aunt and dad in later years.

"My family stayed at the Hospice — day and night," she recalled. "The nurses looked after all of us. Thanks to them, my childhood memories of being at the Hospice are only happy ones. I remember how calming the atmosphere was. Now, I have no fear about that stage of life. There's no other place like Saint Francis Hospice."

Oliver is a little too young to understand the difference between our Hospice and a hospital, yet we discharge 33.5% of patients once their pain is under control.

"There are lots of sick patients, and they wouldn't get better without the Hospice," he said.

Thank you, Lily and Oliver, for raising over £200 from the sale of your toys.

You can also help our patients and their families through the coronavirus pandemic by supporting our Urgent Appeal. You can find out more here.