Actor Daniel Radcliffe is using his star power to back a moving and inspiring online appeal to raise money for children with a terminal condition this Christmas.
The Harry Potter star has narrated a two-minute fundraising film for the charity Demelza Hospice Care for Children, which helps youngsters with terminal conditions from Kent, East Sussex and south east London to live a full life.
Radcliffe, who is currently starring in the play The Lifespan Of A Fact on Broadway, said: “Demelza is a charity very close to my heart, having been a supporter for many years now, and I jumped at the opportunity to voice this inspirational video.
“A short life should be the fullest of them all so please watch, share and donate to Demelza to help children with terminal conditions and their loved ones make the most of the precious time they have together.”
In the film, Radcliffe, who is a Demelza vice president, poses the question of what it means to live a full life.
#FullLife hashtag is shared on social media every day, but then he asks what it means for a child with a terminal condition.
He continues with the message that Demelza believes a short life should be the fullest of them all.
The film makes a play on other often-used social media hashtags such as #OOTD, #MeTime, #Love, #NoLimits and #Xmas, and what it means for the children that the charity cares for.
The actor has been a long-time supporter and donor to Demelza, which provides special care and emotional support for babies, children and teenagers with a terminal condition and for families facing the likelihood that their child will live a short life.
The charity operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, providing care in their hospices or at a child’s home, tailored to the child and parent’s individual needs, as well as supporting the child’s brothers, sisters and grandparents.
The charity has hospices in Sittingbourne, Kent and Eltham, south east London, while it provides care in the homes of families living in East Sussex.
Glynnis Wisbey, whose daughter Elke suffered permanent brain damage after being starved of oxygen at birth, likened a stay at Demelza to a Disney resort.
She said: “Everyone expects when they are pregnant to have a healthy child and I was no different.
“But when Elke was starved of oxygen at birth, doctors didn’t expect her to survive – we were told she wouldn’t make her first Christmas.
“As a family we approach each day as an opportunity to find something fabulous – even on the bad days.
“We are so lucky to have been supported to find the best in every day and solutions to problems, thanks to Demelza Hospice Care for Children.
“We come to stay at Demelza, and I’ve often likened it to being at Disney. Not because of the rides, although we’re on our own rollercoaster ride as it is, but, more about the fact that Demelza has thought about everything.
“It’s like coming to a home from home. It’s like having a supportive family, which can do all the things that you need to do with Elke.
“Demelza allows us to do the fabulous things that most families would take for granted. This isn’t a place for children to come and die – it’s a place for children to come and live. And their families to live with them. It’s an amazing place.”
Radcliffe has donated his time for free, while the film is due to be supported and shared across social media by a host of Demelza’s celebrity supporters, including TV presenter and singer Cheryl Baker, TV and radio presenter Dave Berry, actress and TV presenter Sally Lindsay and Olympic champion ice dancer Jayne Torvill.
Demelza is almost entirely funded by donations and receives less than 20% of its funding from the Government.
As a result, the charity is almost entirely dependent on the generosity of the public to keep going.
Tamsyn Clark, director of marketing and fundraising at Demelza, said: “We’re very grateful to our vice president Daniel Radcliffe, the fantastic team at Southpaw and everyone else who has contributed to this magical appeal.
“Most importantly, we extend our gratitude to the stars of the #FullLife campaign – the children and families who appear in it.
“They are at the heart of everything we do here at Demelza and we’re beyond grateful to everyone who donates to ensure we can be there for every family who needs us.”
To watch the film and to make a donation, visit www.demelza.org.uk/christmas