A Bermondsey mum is to team up with a star from The Only Way is Essex to give out Christmas presents to children at Great Ormond Street.
Rhianna Stonely is teaming up with her childhood friend Ella Rae Wise from the hit reality TV show to give presents to sick children at the hospital on Christmas Eve.
The pair hope to raise £500 for the toys and gifts – £200 for boys, £200 for girls, and then £100 to get something for NHS staff on the ward as a thank-you.
Rhianna came up with the idea after being hit with thefts at her boutique. She had space in Lilly Rae’s key cutting shop on Bermondsey’s Blue, but had to move her clothes out during lockdown.
She put them in her car – only for someone to steal them. “I had all the stock in my car,” she said. “I reported it to the police, but they wrote me a letter saying there was nothing they could do.”
But now she is trying to “make a good thing out of a bad.” She is donating £2.50 from each order from her boutique which is now all online, and has started a GoFundMe to help purchase the gifts.
She mentioned the idea to her childhood pal Ella Rae – and now the TOWIE star is getting on board to get kids Christmas presents too.
Ella told the News: “There’s so many families that can’t afford to do that because they haven’t got the money.
“So it’s just about giving kids the Christmas they deserve.” Rhianna added: “I love children, I’ve got a seventeen-months-old boy myself.
“And I couldn’t imagine anything worse for my little boy than being in hospital on Christmas Day. So I just thought how lovely would it be for someone to come in with presents and give them out.”
Rhianna and Ella are hoping to be able to give out the presents themselves on Christmas Eve on the ward with coronavirus precautions, but if they are not able to, they will give the presents to the hospital to distribute.
The event will be live-streamed on Ella’s Instagram to her 157,000 followers on Christmas Eve, too.
Those wanting to give presents to donate can contact Ella on her Instagram page @ellaraewisex.
A GoFundMe can be found by visiting: gf.me/u/y9siwf.