Forced cancellations of fundraising events due to the coronavirus outbreak are set to leave a children’s hospice with a £250,000 black hole in its budget.
Derian House Children’s Hospice, which cares for more than 400 seriously ill children and young people from across the North West, was counting on the cash due to be brought in by a programme of spring and summer events.
But Government advice to avoid mass gatherings has meant events such as Stars & Cars and Supercar Showtime have had to be put on hold.
David Robinson, Chief Executive at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “These are difficult times for everyone across the world right now and we are working really hard to come up with ways of supporting our children and families in every eventuality. The message for our supporters is that we’re still here and still supporting families.
“The biggest challenge we are currently facing is the catastrophic effect the forced cancellation of our spring and summer events will have on our income.
“It costs us £4.8m every year to run our services and we were counting on the £250,000 due to be raised at a whole host of events to allow us to care for our children and young people now and in the future.”
Despite the chaos as the world struggles to cope with the global pandemic, life goes on at the hospice. Families are still enjoying the sensory room and gardens. They are making Mother’s Day cards in the messy play zone and creating cherished memories together.
The charity has vowed it will stay open for end-of-life care for the very sickest children and families are being encouraged to access counselling and bereavement support over the phone.
Hospice staff are also lending a hand to colleagues in the NHS to help with increased demand during the outbreak.
Perinatal nurse Katie Turner has voluntarily been seconded to Royal Preston Hospital’s neonatal unit to help families in the most need. She will bring her specialist palliative care skills and help free up hospital staff for other duties.
Mr Robinson added: “I am so proud of all of my staff for the dedication and hard work they are showing in the face of adversity and with the support of our community I’m sure we will be able to cope with this unprecedented event.”
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