East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices issue urgent appeal after ‘overwhelming’ impact of coronavirus pandemic

Soham grandparents Helen and John Attlesey raised a record-breaking £1,800 for the East Anglias Chil

Soham grandparents Helen and John Attlesey raised a record-breaking £1,800 for the East Anglias Childrens Hospices charity. Pictured are Jacob Attlesey, EACHs Karen Newton and Jake Attlesey. Picture: MICHAEL JARVIS - Credit: Archant

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) are appealing for support from the community in response to the “overwhelming” financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The charitable care provider is urgently calling on the public to donate online or get creative with their ‘at-home’ fundraising ideas.

Tracy Rennie, acting chief executive at EACH, said: “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.

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Ms Rennie said the hospice has suspended its care activities such as short breaks and wellbeing therapies because of the predicted impact of COVID-19 on the workforce.

But despite suffering a decline in income, she hopes the Government can step in to support the business.

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“It is essential we all work together to slow down the spread of the virus and protect and shield the most vulnerable, which includes children,” Ms Rennie said.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and support their families.

It relies on voluntary donations for most of its income and needs to raise over £6 million from fundraising and more than £5 million in income from its shops every year.

To donate, visit https://www.each.org.uk/.

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