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EastEnders star Terry Alderton launched a Christmas campaign to help improve the lives of terminally ill children at an Ilford shopping centre on Saturday.

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The Exchange Ilford is using Christmas letters to benefit Hainault charity The Dream Factory, which grants wishes for children and young people with life-limiting illnesses.

Youngsters can send their letters to Father Christmas for a good cause and watch an animated film inspired by the festive season.

For every letter posted, the Exchange Ilford will donate 50p to the Dream Factory to help them grant more wishes.

There will also be a theatre area in the shopping centre atrium at weekends with “Santa’s elf and safety helpers”, craft and writing workshops.

The Dream Factory founder Avril Mills said: “This campaign is a great way to inform people about our charity and demonstrate how a simple act of kindness with writing a letter can help create a life-changing experiences for kids with life-threatening medical conditions.”

Avril founded the charity in 2008 following the death of her nine-year-old son, Oliver, from leukemia. It has since granted 250 dreams.

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