Actor Rupert Everett has become a patron of Julia’s House Children's Hospice after appearing in a film about the charity.

Rupert visited the home of a Wiltshire family who are supported by Julia’s House community nurses and carers and saw first-hand the difference frequent respite can make to parents struggling to cope with a very sick child.

During filming, the actor shared the limelight with Joseph, a bright, bubbly little boy who suffers from a rare genetic condition which causes muscle weakness, leaving him unable to walk.

The pair interviewed each other with the four-year-old asking the actor: “What are you going to do for Julia’s House?”

Rupert talked to Joseph’s parents, Liz and Michael who told him Julia’s House had thrown them a lifeline: “Julia’s House offers a safety net whereby we know he is in good hands – it’s a life-changer for us.”

He also took a tour of the building in Devizes which is to become the new Julia’s House children’s hospice for Wiltshire and is scheduled to open in autumn 2017.

Rupert said: "It seems to me that Julia’s House is incredibly important, particularly to families who are trying to survive as a family."

Alex Talbot, Julia’s House Development Director,  said: “Rupert asked what he could do to help us and we were thrilled when he agreed to appear in our film.

"We hope it will help people understand the vital role Julia’s House plays in the lives of families within the community as well as in our hospice.

“Rupert is very supportive of our plans for Wiltshire and was moved by how much we are already doing to bring comfort and care direct to families’ own homes. We are delighted that he has agreed to become a Patron.”

Rupert Everett is the second Patron to join the charity in 2016.

Last month the UK fashion designer Jasper Conran took his place among established patrons including film director Guy Ritchie and his wife, the model Jacqui Ainsley, actor Martin Clunes and AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.