Call The Midwife stars Laura Main and Ella Bruccoleri have met workers and families at an East London charity ahead of the return of the hit TV drama.
The actresses, who play Shelagh Turner and Sister Frances respectively in the show about midwives working with families facing deprivation during the 1950s and 60s, took part in a virtual craft session with staff and families supported by a BBC Children In Need-funded project at Bonny Downs Community Association in Newham.
They created spring wreaths as they learned how money raised by the public is helping children and young people in the area during the coronavirus pandemic.
After the virtual visit, Bruccoleri said: “I loved the project visit. It was incredible to hear families speak openly about their stories first hand. It’s clear this funding is not just supporting families, it’s helping build and maintain the wellbeing of an entire community, a family who are supporting each other through some of the hardest times.
It’s clear Bonny Downs Community Association not only provides families with practical essentials, but they are also thinking about families’ wellbeing and mental health and adapting to help them in the best way possible with the funding from BBC Children In Need.”
Main added: “It was really moving to hear how much the charity means to families, not just as a group, but as individuals. It’s the most incredible place.”
BBC Children In Need funds the Bonny Downs’ Growing Strong project with £120,000 over three years to cover staff and equipment costs, a toy bank, advocacy support and early years and youth services provision for local families.
Project worker Stacey Cordery said: “Funding from BBC Children In Need has allowed us to run virtual activity sessions throughout lockdown, we’ve been providing arts and crafts or activity packs which enable the children to socialise, feel supported and increase their wellbeing.
“The funding also allows us to provide a holiday club for the children where they can enjoy games and play outdoors on the charity’s green space, experience respite from the challenges they might be facing and be provided with meals throughout their day.”
The new series of Call The Midwife begins on BBC One at 8pm on Sunday April 18.