EastEnders actress Rakhee Thakrar said she was honoured to have been named as the new patron for Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People.
The 31-year-old, who plays Shabnam Masood in the BBC One show, visited the hospice earlier this year to meet some of the inspirational children, families and staff.
During her visit, she joined in with arts activities took part in a special TV quiz with the young people and even met the Rainbows choir.
The hospice provides vital care and support for children with terminal and life-limiting conditions across the East Midlands.
Speaking about becoming a patron, Rakhee 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 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 part of her role, 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.
Chief executive at Rainbows 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 are extremely happy she has pledged her support to us.
“As ever, we are very grateful to all of our patrons and ambassadors for the wonderful work they do for Rainbows and for promoting the charity all over the UK.”