EastEnders actress Rakhee Thakrar has become the newest patron for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.
The 31-year-old, who plays Shabnam Masood in the BBC soap and who is from Leicester, visited the hospice earlier this year to meet some of the inspirational children, families and staff.
She joined in with arts activities, took part in a special TV quiz with the young people and met the Rainbows choir during her visit to the Loughborough-based hospice which provides vital care and support for children with terminal and life-limiting conditions, as well as their families.
She said: “It’s a huge honour for me to become a patron for Rainbows. During my visit, when I was asked by the young people if I would consider becoming a patron, I was incredibly touched and immediately agreed.
“Meeting the children and young people was amazing. I never expected a hospice to be so happy, it really is a place where families can make memories. The staff at Rainbows are incredible. It’s amazing how much actually goes on at the hospice and how far the staff go to make things happen. It truly is an inspiring place and I’m delighted to become a patron.”
As a patron, Rakhee will be supporting the hospice in whatever way her schedule allows, which will be invaluable in raising the profile of the charity. She has even offered to show some of the young people around Albert Square, the fictional setting of the famous soap.
Rainbows chief executive Andy Campbell said: “It was wonderful when Rakhee visited us at Rainbows. She brought with her so much positivity and everyone who met her loved her. To have her on board as our newest patron is very exciting and we’re extremely happy she has pledged her support to us.”