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‘Financial forecasts are extremely concerning’ – Children’s hospice plea for support amid coronavirus hardship

PUBLISHED: 17:27 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:28 27 March 2020

East Anglia's Children's Hospices has made an urgent appeal for support as coronavirus sees knock-on effects on the charity's funding  Picture: RACHEL EDGE

East Anglia's Children's Hospices has made an urgent appeal for support as coronavirus sees knock-on effects on the charity's funding Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Rachel Edge

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices has made an urgent plea for support as the coronavirus crisis has seen it lose up to £100,000 a week in funds.

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is a patron of the charity based in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire  Picture: PHIL MORLEYHRH The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is a patron of the charity based in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The charity, which runs hospices in Ipswich, Milton and Framingham Earl, said it is facing an “overwhelming” challenge in the wake of the virus and financial forecasts are “extremely concerning”.

So far, the charity has been forced to close all of its 43 shops across the region and has ceased its Amazon and eBay operations, while the majority of its supporters have postponed or cancelled fundraising activities.
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As a result of the unprecedented crisis, planned excursions, therapies and counselling are among some of the services which have been suspended.

Chief executive Tracy Rennie has now called on the public to donate online, or get creative with their own “at-home” fundraising ideas so it can continue to support the 450 families of young people with life-threatening conditions.

Ms Rennie 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.

“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.”
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The charity received just 13% of its total income from statutory sources such as the NHS last year, requiring more than £6million to be raised from fundraisers and more than £5m from its shops.

Ms Rennie added: “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.

“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.”
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Those who would like to donate to help the charity can do so here.

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