Actress Anita Dobson drops into Thames Hospice to donate money and visit patients

Pictures: Ian Longthorne

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L-R: Steph Peters, Emma Knibbs, Anita Dobson, Claire Swain and Jaime Mansell

Former EastEnders actress Anita Dobson dropped into Thames Hospice today (Wednesday) to present a cheque for £1,250 which was raised from selling memorabilia from her days on the soap.

Anita, 73, famous for playing the role of Angie Watts in the BBC series from 1985-1988, was also in Windsor Road to donate some of her clothes to the charity’s vintage and retro store.

Anita, who is married to Queen lead guitarist Brian May, met patient Yvonne Ive during her visit, who is receiving care at the facility.

“I am a huge supporter of Thames Hospice, I think it is the most wonderful place,” she said.

“I bring donations in when I can; I am having a clear-out at home so anything I have got that I think might raise funds, then I am here.

“God forbid if anything happened to me this must be the best place to come, because everyone is smiling.

“People do not sit here looking unhappy, they handle their problems and smile and it makes me feel emotional but very happy every time I come here.”

The visit from the actress followed a recent outing to Thames Hospice from the Queen and Princess Anne last month.

In a throwback to her days as Angie in EastEnders, Anita has also sold off some of her old outfits she wore as the character in the 1980s to a British memorabilia collector she met on Antiques Roadshow.

The collector donated £1,250 to Thames Hospice after buying them off Anita, with a cheque presented to staff this week.

Money raised from the sale will also go to Brian May’s charity, the Save Me Trust.

“He [the collector] just wants to exhibit and display them and that makes me inordinately happy because the costumes are not in separate places, they are in one place together,” Anita, who is an ambassador for the hospice, said.

“If the things I have collected and done in my life can help to raise money for causes that I think are really important, then that is a good thing to do.”

Anita described Yvonne, a former model, as someone ‘full of life’ who enjoys chats with nursing staff about make-up and her days in the modelling industry.

“We just clicked, I felt this was a woman who was at peace with what life had dealt her,” said Anita, pictured above with Yvonne. 

“She’s had a wonderful life, she had been a model and her family had come to support her here.

“She has got great life in her and you get the feeling that will be there right through to the end. There is no self-pity and she loves it here – this is the place she feels safe and cared for.”

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