Children’s Hospice South West has launched a new fundraising appeal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The charity has had to cancel or postpone many of its fundraising events planned for the coming weeks and months and is looking to find alternative ways of raising the £11million-a-year it needs to run its three hospices in North Devon, North Somerset and Cornwall.
It is asking everyone to ‘Be Incredible’ and do ‘whatever they can, however they can to help local children and local families who rely on the charity.
Director of Fundraising, Paul Courtney, said: “These are uncertain times for everyone but we have been buoyed by the many messages of goodwill and offers of help that we have received from our wonderful supporters.
“Many have had fundraising events cancelled but are passionate about wanting to stand with families who need our love and generosity now more than ever.
“They have been incredible and have inspired a new fundraising campaign for the charity – Be Incredible.
Paul said supporters were busy organising virtual fundraising events in their homes, from online quizzes to fun, sponsored stay-at-home challenges. Others are donating money saved from abandoned daily routines, such as buying their morning coffee on the way into work.
The charity’s new Facebook Group, ‘Be Incredible with Children’s Hospice South West’, gained nearly 400 members in the first 24 hours after its launch this week, with many supporters sharing fundraising ideas, as well as tips on keeping safe and looking after their mental well-being and physical health while they are self-isolating.
“We’re asking people to Be Incredible and do whatever they can, however they can, to help children with life-limiting conditions and their families make the most of short and precious lives at our Little Harbour, Little Bridge House and Charlton Farm children’s hospices,” added Paul.
“And it’s been amazing to see the community of CHSW supporters coming together to help the charity and each other through these challenging times.
It is vital that we still maintain our levels of fundraising income to ensure that we can continue to be there for children and families, both now and into the future, and we can’t thank everyone enough for their support.
“Across the South West, many people don’t know what the coming weeks and months will hold, but we can all do something now to play a huge part in our future.”
The charity has closed its 35 South West charity shops and has also made the difficult decision to limit hospice stays to end-of-life care and emergency care only. All routine respite stays have been cancelled and care teams are continuing to support families over the phone.
Alli Ryder, Head of Care said: “We have restricted access to all care areas within our hospice sites to essential staff only and have stringent procedures and policies in place to ensure we protect our families and staff at all times.
We do not underestimate how worried and concerned our families must be and the potential challenges they may face over the next few weeks and months. We are continuing to liaise with them to advise of any changes to our care service as and when we have updates.