Grays girl is a star on BGT

By Nub News Reporter

14th May 2024 | Local History

Dottie's golden days
Dottie's golden days

A SEVEN-year-old from Thurrock cared for by Essex's only children's hospice has got the Golden Buzzer on Britain's Got Talent

Dottie Rees from Grays was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in September 2020.

She was just four when diagnosed, and her treatment, which was nearly two years long, has consisted of over 60 sessions of chemotherapy in London and her local hospital.

Dottie continues to live with the effects of her brain tumour, having regular MRI scans and tests for her hearing and vision.  

Because of this, Dottie faces challenges that most children her age don't have to contend with. After such grueling and intensive treatment, Dottie was struggling emotionally – and this is where Little Havens could help the family.   

Little Havens, Essex's only children's hospice, provides specialist care and support for babies, children and young people like Dottie who are living with complex or incurable conditions. 

The hospice provides the kind of care that treats everyone as a person, not a patient, offering the support and care they need to live every day to the full. For Dottie, this means providing emotional support through weekly counselling sessions at school with one of our trained children's counsellors.  

Louise Paterson-Rees, Dottie's mum, explains, "Dottie speaks so highly of Kat, her Little Havens Counsellor. Kat talks to me, too, and always makes me feel that Dottie is being well looked after. 

"The sessions are the highlight of Dottie's school week. As well as being a chance to talk about everything she's gone through, Kat involves arts and crafts too, so Dottie comes home with lots of lovely things she's created." 

"For me as a mum, having someone Dottie can talk to from Little Havens is reassuring as I know she isn't alone. Kat is someone Dottie can talk to about everything going on in our lives, whether that's her worries or just chat about her daily events." 

Dottie, her mum Louise, and Grandma Denise are part of 'Ravi's Dream Team' – a choir brought together because of their shared experience of brain tumours.

The choir entered Britain's Got Talent earlier this year.

Ravi's Dream Team on stage

After performing a rendition of 'A Million Dreams' from The Greatest Showman, they received the golden buzzer from judge Alesha Dixon, which means they are straight through to the semi-finals later this month.  

Louise explains how they got involved in the choir: "It was a huge shock when Dottie was diagnosed, so we were trying to connect with other parents in our position.

"We met Ravi, who also has a brain tumour, and his family through Instagram. Last year, Dottie participated in a fashion show spreading awareness of brain tumours, and the three of us were then invited to be part of the choir." 

Ravi's Dream Team choir was put together by Ravi's family as he dreamed of entering Britain's Got Talent. The 50-strong choir consists of Ravi's friends and family, his teacher, healthcare professionals, and other families like Dottie's that have all been affected by the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumour.  

Dottie, mum and Grandma at BGT

Much like most seven-year-old girls, Dottie loves singing and performing, so being able to perform on the stage in front of the judges was a bucket list moment for her, too. Louise says, "Singing in the choir is like a therapy session on its own. Performing together has given me, Dottie and her Grandma lots of happy times together while also spreading awareness of brain tumours." 

"We never in a million years thought we would get the Golden Buzzer! We just feel overwhelmed that we have made a difference to the brain tumour community and want to continue raising awareness.  

"Rehearsals are going really well, it's the highlight of our week getting to see everyone. Although we have been brought together because of this horrible disease, we are so proud to be part of Ravi's Dream Team Choir. We are showing the world don't let anything stop you!" 


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