Matilda’s Star Jump Challenge in memory of sister

A seven-year-old from Chelmsford is fundraising for the children’s hospice that cared for her sister by calling on the community to get involved in her ‘Star Jump’ challenge.

Matilda is asking people to help her reach her target of 60,000 star jumps by the end of August to help raise £6,000 for Little Havens – Essex’s only children’s hospice – which cared for her sister Bella at the end of her life.

Isabella, known to her family as Bella, was diagnosed with a life-limiting heart condition at nine months old and after many tests, was diagnosed with an incurable genetic condition.

Little Havens in Thundersley supported the family with regular respite, support and symptom management stays for 15 years. In August 2021 Bella and her family spent 10 days at Little Havens to be cared for at the end of her life.

Matilda chose the amount of 60,000 star jumps because for the ten days Bella was cared for at Little Havens it would have cost around £6,000 per day to provide this care totalling £60,000.

Christine, Tilly’s mum said: “The challenge is completing star jumps because Matilda and the rest of the family think all the hospice staff are all stars.

“Little Havens not only cared for Bella by making sure she was pain-free, but they also spent so much time playing with Matilda, so that we had time to be with Bella and process what was happening.

“Little Havens cared for Bella for fifteen years and in her final days, they made sure that every single day counted. Her days consisted of pampering sessions with her sister, evenings in the grounds watching the sunset together and lots of sensory stories and music therapies. In the darkest of days, they made sure we all had support and somehow helped us all smile, laugh and enjoy our final time.”

Matilda has been gathering her family and friends to complete as many star jumps as possible, whenever they can. Staff from Little Havens have also been getting involved to show Matilda support along with the community groups The Blackwater Pirates and The Thundersley Superhero Alliance, both long-standing supporters of the charity.

So far nearly 23,000-star jumps have been completed. To get involved in Matilda’s fundraising efforts and help her reach her total, visit

Share your star jumps on social media by tagging @havenshospices with the hashtags #MatildasStarJumps #JumpForLittleHavens

Published 22nd August 2022

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A nurse from Little Havens accepting a cheque donation from Matilda at Little Havens