Richard House in the spotlight

West Ham United have dedicated the Barclays Premier League home match against Chelsea on Saturday to raising money and awareness for the Richard House Children's Hospice.

Richard House in Beckton is one of two official charities the club is proud to have linked up with this season along with the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK. London's first children's hospice, Richard House has helped hundreds of children and their families by providing respite from the emotional and physical trauma living with a terminal illness can bring.

Leading up to the Boleyn Ground fixture, and on the day of the game itself, various initiatives will take place in support of the charity. These include:

  • Collections in and around the ground
  • The players wearing Richard House T-shirts for the warm-up
  • A penalty-shoot out competition involving children from schools who have supported the hospice
  • A week of online text and video coverage on
  • Special programme feature including an exclusive interview with patron Joe Cole
  • A players' appeal to get fans to donate £1 by texting RICHARD to 82085. (Each text will be charged at a rate of £1 of which Richard House will receive 56p or more dependent on your provider's network.)

    West Ham United defender Anton Ferdinand has been heavily involved with the charity throughout the season including paying a visit to the hospice where he spent an afternoon with the children helping them bake cakes and participating in their music workshop. The 23-year-old said: "When I went to the hospice I was so touched by what a wonderful warm place it was and how hard the staff work to make sure the children there are always having fun but also being stimulated."

    Viv Talbot, Richard House Community Fundraising Manager, said: "Richard House Children's Hospice cannot thank West Ham United enough for selecting them as one of their two chosen charities for this season." She described the chance to raise funds and awareness as a "fantastic opportunity", adding: "£1.8m in voluntary donations is needed each year to keep the hospice running for which we rely totally on clubs like West Ham and their supporters to help us.

    Click here to find out more about Richard House