The charitable care provider is urgently calling on the public to donate online or get creative with their ‘at-home’ fundraising ideas.
EACH appeals for urgent public support in response to the 'overwhelming' financial impact of COVID-19 outbreak
Tracy Rennie, EACH Acting Chief Executive, said: “What we are all facing is unprecedented. We know this is a very challenging and uncertain time for everyone, and for EACH the financial impact is overwhelming. Financial forecasts based on what we know and the rapidly changing situation are extremely concerning, and are likely to get worse.
“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. We receive a tiny amount from the NHS.
“It is essential we all work together to slow down the spread of the virus and protect and shield the most vulnerable, which includes the children who use our services. This, along with the predicted impact on our workforce as the virus takes hold, has meant that we have suspended our planned care activities in the hospice such as short breaks and wellbeing therapies, wellbeing 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.
“However, our care service must continue. At the moment, our focus is on providing end-of-life care and bereavement support, and 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. But we also need to be able to start offering our services to all of the other families as soon as it is safe to do so. We need the help of the public to make that happen.
“We are experiencing a devastating drop in income from donations and the vast majority of our supporters’ fundraising activities, and our own events, have had to be cancelled or postponed.
“The financial impact on our shops is, without exaggeration, huge. Our 43 shops and eBay and Amazon operations are now closed. We normally take £100,000 of income each week – this is now down to zero – this week, next week and who knows how many weeks after that.
“We are hopeful there will be additional funding support from the government and recognise they are taking vital and unprecedented steps to support business and their employees, but this alone won’t be enough and we need help now to bridge that gap.
“We have always received such fantastic backing from communities right across East Anglia and we are now calling on our amazing supporters to donate what they can or get creative with their ‘at-home’ fundraising ideas, by visiting www.each.org.uk. Our fundraising teams are still working hard from home and would love to hear from you!"
EACH supports around 450 families of children and young people with life-threatening conditions, including around 100 bereaved families at any one time.
Last year, the charity received just 13% of its total income from statutory sources. It relies on voluntary donations for the vast majority of its income and needs to raise over £6 million from fundraising and more than £5 million in income from its shops each and every year.
EACH has three hospices, one in Milton, Cambridgeshire, another called The Treehouse, in Ipswich, Suffolk, and one that had its official opening in November, The Nook, in Framingham Earl, Norfolk.
East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) aims to maximise the quality of life for children and young people with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, and to support their families.