It’s been kept under wraps until now, but Ross-on-Wye charity Hope Support Services has been working with scriptwriters at BBC EastEnders on one of their most emotional new storylines.

Viewers will have recently seen character Lola diagnosed with a brain tumour and, like so many parents who get in touch with us, has struggled with how to tell daughter Lexi, worrying more about how her family will cope than how she is going to deal with it herself.

Although Lexi’s dad encouraged Lola to share the news with her daughter she just couldn’t, leaving Lexi to overhear conversations and jump to her own conclusions.

Hope Support Services receive so many calls from parents who—after being diagnosed with an illness like cancer—have no idea how to break that news to younger family members. Many, like Lola, struggle to find the words, this can lead to children picking things up themselves, and feeling like they’re not included.

Members of the Hope team visited Albert Square to meet Danielle and Isabella, who play the mother and daughter, sharing their experiences of what families in this situation go through. Viewers have been sharing their appreciation of how the storyline has been portrayed so far, with one fan tweeting “Having EastEnders focusing on how Lexi feels and her point of view is very important to me.”

Staff at the charity have said that they’re really pleased that EastEnders are paying so much attention to the impact a diagnosis can have on younger family members, raising awareness of the needs of children and young people who are going through such a traumatic time.

Hope Support Services is a registered UK charity set up in 2009. They support young people when a close family member is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, such as cancer or even Covid-19.