As of Tuesday 7 April, for In Touch readers
What we are all facing is unprecedented. We know this is a very challenging and uncertain time for everyone. For EACH the financial impact is overwhelming.
With our shops closed and the vast majority of our supporters’ fundraising activities and our own events cancelled or postponed, our loss of income is expected to be around £1,800,000 in any 12-week block.
At the time of writing, we are hopeful there will be additional funding support from the government, but this alone will not be enough and we will still need help to bridge our income gap.
It is essential we all work together to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and shield the most vulnerable, which includes the children and young people who use our services. This has meant we have suspended our planned care activities in the hospices, such as short breaks and well-being therapies, well-being groups and events, face-to-face counselling, care of the child’s body after they have died as well as our Help at Home volunteering service.
At the moment our focus is on providing end-of-life care and bereavement support, working closely with the NHS to provide capacity to care for the sickest children and responding to urgent requests for care and support as best we can.
However, we need to be able to start offering our services in full as soon as it is safe to do so. We need the help of the public to make that happen.
We are not alone. Nearly every children’s hospice in the UK is in the same position. Unlike hospitals, we all rely on the generosity of our donors to fund our services. Last year just 13 percent of our income came from statutory sources.
Some good news we have had during this period is that all three of our hospices were rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission following inspections in January.
We are only able to provide outstanding care because of outstanding backing from the public and we are calling on our supporters to continue helping us where they can.
We were delighted our emergency fundraising appeal received over £40,000 in the first six days. It has been heart-warming to see what people have been doing to help us at a time of such great challenge and difficulty for all, and we have been really impressed with people’s creativity to get fundraising activities done at home. Examples include a family riding from Land’s End to John o’ Groats on a cycling machine, a brother and sister running a marathon in their garden and a couple growing sunflowers for 12 weeks.
Together we can make sure that vital care and support is still available for the children, young people and their families who need us, during and beyond this challenging and uncertain time.
Our fundraising teams are working hard from home and would love to hear from you. Thank you.