Celebrated opera singer Anna Netrebko supports children’s hospitals in St Petersburg. And ballerina Diana Vishneva raises funds for ballet classes for children whose parents can’t afford them. Performing artists both in Russia and the UK often raise money for good causes, putting their fame to work for those in need.

And as charities struggle to survive in today’s tight economic conditions, it becomes increasingly important that famous names in the arts help them to carry out life-changing work.

That means work like the palliative care given to terminally ill patients by the UK-based charity Hospices of Hope, which works in Romania, the former Soviet state of Moldova, and Serbia.

The charity builds hospices and funds home visits for children and adults in a country where many are sent home from hospital to die without receiving even basic pain relief.

Hospices are designed to help alleviate the suffering of people who are in the advanced stages of terminal illness, by helping to control symptoms and give people a degree of dignity at this difficult time.

Royal Ballet dancer Alina Cojocaru, who is Romanian herself, is raising funds for the charity in a gala concert on the 12th of May.

Sitting backstage in Covent Garden, an elfin figure in multicoloured woollen leggings, Alina told me about her own recent visit to her homeland to see how the charity staff work.

"They don’t only treat people in the hospice, but they do home visits. They do home visits to people who are not mobile, and cannot travel to the hospice, and I visited one of these patients [during one of] my trips home, and it’s overwhelming.

"It’s absolutely overwhelming. The work they do for the patients as well as for the families.

"I spoke to Marius, a patient who for the last ten years has been paralysed, and in bed. He was the most alive of all of us, and it was just wonderful to [hear] his story, to hear what he was dreaming of, his dreams. It’s so human, it’s so simple, and it’s so real."

In 2008, Alina Cojocaru had to stop dancing for nearly a year due to a neck injury. Though this was nothing compared with what the hospice patients endure, she knows about frustration.

"No matter what anyone says, it’s the wrong thing to say. And it makes you even more frustrated because – ‘how can you not understand?’ What the hospice provides is that advice to guide everyone involved in having a – I can’t say a better life, because that’s the wrong word, but a more comfortable and more enjoyable one.

"To see the possibilities, discover the possibilities in that situation. Of still being a human being, and - to enjoy a day," she said.

Gina Vlasceanu is a paediatric social worker for the charity.

She says that Romanians are often diagnosed with cancer and other serious illnesses very late, due to doctors not spotting them in time, and that palliative care isn't readily available.

Gina already visits children with terminal illnesses in Bucharest, at home and in hospital. She and her colleagues help parents to understand their rights and administer medical and psychological treatment.

But the charity now plans to open a hospice in Bucharest to add to that. It already has one hospice in the country, which is located outside the capital, in the central town of Brasov.

Gina Vlasceanu explains: "Essentially, it’s really important to have a new hospice in Bucharest because of the huge number of people who are getting sick.

"And most of these patients who are in the last phase of their lives are just thrown out of hospital, unfortunately, because they [the hospital] do not have any other solution for them.

"This is where we are entering into our patients’ lives. This is where our story starts," she said.

These children and adults are often isolated, so the charity tries to offer support as well as medical care.

Gina Vlasceanu said: "We’re trying not to abandon them when most of the professionals and some family members are leaving them.

"We’re trying to give them dignity until the last day of their lives, and to consider them a person even if it’s hard and difficult in their last days. They are important to us, no matter what."

Along with Alina herself, the dancers performing for the charity at Sadler’s Wells Theatre this Sunday include Steven MacRae, Daria Klimentova, Vadim Muntagirov, and students from The National Ballet School of Romania.

They’ll perform highlights from the classical repertoire as well as new or rarely seen pieces by Marius Petipa, Johan Kobborg, and other choreographers.