“I can’t imagine coping without such incredible support. They were phenomenal and instrumental in terms of us getting through that period of time” – Charlotte and Grant hope their appearance on Dragons’ Den helps shine a light on EACH

A bereaved mum currently in the spotlight after appearing on TV show Dragons’ Den has spoken of her eternal gratitude and lifelong affinity with East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Charlotte Clemence and husband Grant, who appeared on the BBC hit last Thursday, were supported by the team at Milton after daughter Fleur died of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), in 2011. She was just eight days old.

They have since raised in the region of £180,000 by organising summer concerts at their home and through their outdoor art firm, Yard Art.

Co-founder Charlotte, 47, and Grant, 49, who takes care of investor relations, went on the show – the final episode of the series – to pitch for investment and received support from Dragons Sara Davies and Steven Bartlett.

Now Charlotte hopes their high-profile appearance acts as a platform to help shine a light on EACH’s services.

“EACH was absolutely fundamental in the process of surviving that period of time,” said the keen tennis player, who lives in Little Hallingbury, near Bishop’s Stortford.

“When the hospice was first mentioned, I was reluctant, to say the least, and didn’t want to accept what was happening.

“However, as things progressed, we needed that support more than ever and the care team were there for us every step of the way.

“I can’t imagine coping without such incredible support. They were phenomenal and instrumental in terms of helping us get through it.

“EACH is part of our lives and we’ll forever be grateful. That connection will always be there, because of the help we received.

“Through fundraising, we’ve been in a position to help other families going through something similar and that’s one positive to come from what happened.

“The same goes for our appearance on Dragons’ Den and we hope it generates exposure for EACH.

“Hopefully it acts as another push to make people aware of this incredible charity.”

After receiving support from EACH, Charlotte and Grant had a meeting with The Princess of Wales when she paid a private visit to Milton in November 2011.

It was ahead of the princess deciding which charities she wanted to support and the couple were heavily involved when the media became aware of the story, agreeing to numerous interviews.

They met the Dragons – business giants Sara, Steven, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden and Touker Suleyman – when the show was filmed last June. During their time on set, they spoke openly about Fleur, their grief and the support they received from EACH.

However, they had no idea what parts of their chat would be included until it aired last week.

“It was a fantastic experience but emotionally draining,” added Charlotte, who set up Yard Art with co-founder Bex Lund, is an artist herself and plans to donate any commission on sales of her own work to EACH.

“Having kept it under wraps since last summer, it was a relief for the episode to finally be broadcast – even if I did watch it peeking through my fingers with my hands over my face!

“The whole thing has been 18 months in the making as it was filmed last June.

“Before that, the process of applying took a long while and we were on tenterhooks waiting to find out if we’d been successful.

“It was a daunting challenge, as a small business. However, we were truly inspired by the Dragons.

“We had so much positive feedback and securing interest means we can scale up our business and take it to a wider audience.”

Charlotte and Grant have two daughters – Fleur’s twin sister, Sophia, who will soon be 13, and eight-year-old Nancy.

Find our notes to editors here.

Keep in touch:

For further information about this release please contact:

Matt Plummer | Media and PR Manager | 07738 328058 | Matt.Plummer@each.org.uk

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