The Court Circular meets the local children’s charity celebrating 18 years of supporting children and families facing life-challenging conditions.
Words | Orin Carlin
It all started with an ice lolly. Back in 2004, Bianca Effemey was working as a receptionist
in the paediatric ward at Kingston Hospital, where she was deeply affected by the sight of children suffering from painful mouth ulcers caused by chemotherapy side effects. And so,
she found herself on a mission: to get a freezer for the ward.
Bianca was determined to provide the children with ice lollies, small comforts to soothe their sore mouths. After being told that her local department store could only donate to a charity, Bianca went about setting up Momentum.
Now celebrating its 18th anniversary, Momentum Children’s Charity, based in East Molesey, has branched out from ice lollies, but remains true to Bianca’s heartfelt intentions. Lucy Coleman, Momentum’s PR & Ambassador Relations Officer, looks back on how its origin story has impacted their work today.
Our commitment to the unique needs of each and every family, remains at the heart of everything we do.”
“Bianca’s gesture paved the way for our personal approach when it comes to supporting seriously ill children and their families,” she shares. “Today we do so much more, but our commitment to the unique needs of each and every family, remains at the heart of everything we do.”
Momentum now helps around 250 families whose children have cancer or another life-challenging condition, with tailored support. “Our services include counselling, creative therapies, experiences and respite breaks but we know that every family and every individual within that family is different,” Lucy says.
“Looking after a child going through painful and seemingly never-ending treatment is very tough so it’s normal for families to experience mental health struggles,” she continues. “And so, pro-actively fostering good mental health is hugely important after a family has been affected by a diagnosis.
“The challenges of a pandemic have put the NHS under huge pressure, with mental health services especially in demand, which is why it is so important for us to be able to provide a wide range of therapy services, appropriate for adults and children, in a timely manner,”
Music, art and massage are just a few of the therapies available to Momentum families, as well as trips and treats, designed to boost emotional wellbeing.
Momentum’s Local Hub
Following Momentum’s recent move to Creek Road in East Molesey, Lucy is feeling positive about the people they can continue to help and make contact with.
“We’re looking forward to meeting more of the community at our events over the coming year,” she says warmly. “Moving into our new office was a real treat as we had been working remotely for such a long time during the pandemic. We’ve received such a warm welcome by our neighbouring businesses.”
The office is just as important to the families who come to visit the charity too. “They feel the value we place on them as they are surrounded by photos of all the people, children and adults, who make up the wider Momentum family. A lot of the people we’ve supported go on to support us, growing the bond they have with our charity by volunteering or fundraising for the work we do.”
For more information about Momentum’s work, visit momentumcharity.org or pop into
11a Creek Road, East Molesey KT8 9BE