Jaymi Hensley, 24, on the heartbreak of losing a much-loved school friend and why he's helping to raise money for children's hospices around the country

Union J‘s Jaymi Hensley was one of many celebrities who joined us last week to do something AMAZING for Little Haven‘s children’s hospice in Essex.

Alongside fellow band members George Shelley and JJ Hamblett, Jaymi joined UK charity Greenfingers and members of Now to get stuck in planting a tree and making the garden look magical for the hospice, which offers respite and care for babies, children and teens.

Here, in his own words, he shares his story and explains why everyone should enjoy the time they have with the people they have:

‘I know people think that hospices are sad places. But I’ve experienced them first-hand, so I know they’re not.

‘When I was at school, a friend from drama class was diagnosed with an illness so had to spend his last days in a hospice. A group of us would all go and visit him there.

‘I remember it being a happy, peaceful place. And I remember the care that he got and the way we, as his friends and family, were looked after too.

‘Losing my friend when he was a teen showed me that life’s not all about having fame, money, a fast car or a big house. It’s about being happy and enjoying the time you have with the people around you.  

‘Places like Little Havens really help young people who have life-limiting illnesses to do just that ­ it helps them forget their illnesses and feel like young people. And doing something like we have today is so much more rewarding than going to premieres or being on stage.’

Union J say: ‘We’ve done our bit in the garden ­ now we want all you Now readers to donate what you can to Greenfingers and make a difference to more children. Go to justgiving.com/nowgreenfingers and donate what you can or text NOWG50 and the amount you’d like to give (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070.’
 
Texts are free to send but please check with the phone’s bill payer before making a donation.

For more info, go to greenfingerscharity.org.uk and havenshospices.org.uk

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