The River Café, an iconic west London restaurant, chose CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer support charity for children, young people and their families, after a former member of their team received the devastating news that her two-and-half-year-old son, James, has a brain tumour.
Manager Ross Jasper said: “Jessica worked at The River Café for many years and left us to go back home to Cornwall. Their nearest treatment centre was at The Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
"I went to see Jessica, her son and husband a few days after their arrival there from Cornwall.
"What really struck me was how swiftly CLIC Sargent had swept in to assist them as a family."
"The very first day of relocating from Cornwall, everything from accommodation, parking, emotional support and advice, was available to them.
"As is often the case, we learn of how important a charity is when it supports those we love.”
The River Cafe offers a winter set lunch at the start of every New Year, from January to the start of April with a different charity chosen every year. One pound per person is added to the bill and donated to charity.
“The River Cafe is a family, made not only of regular customers, but also suppliers and the many people who both currently work here and who have worked here in the past. Choosing a different charity to support each year is a reflection on issues that affect this family.”
In 2016/17, CLIC Sargent supported 561 families in London, giving out over 391 grants worth nearly £82,000 helping families to deal with the financial impact of cancer. A Cancer Costs report from the charity revealed that families with a child undergoing active treatment spend an extra £600 a month.
CLIC Sargent Fundraising Engagement Manager Charlie Straker said: “We are hugely grateful for the support of The River Café and their diners.
“The money raised will help CLIC Sargent’s specialist care teams step in for families like Jessica’s, ready to help, support and guide.
"We know that 11 more children and young people are diagnosed every day and it is vital that we can be there for them, individually, locally and nationally. We rely entirely on donations for our work, so support like this is absolutely crucial.”