Our Family Support Workers - identified as ‘key workers’ in this Covid-19 crisis - are part of the national response to rapidly increasing demand, providing critical care and support to seriously ill children and their families in this new frightening reality.
But overnight our income has dropped. We have seen every fundraising event cancelled and our two charity shops closed. We receive no government funding and rely almost entirely on the generosity of the public.
We face the very real concern that we will not be able to continue supporting the 2,500 vulnerable families that we currently help. Families with children undergoing cancer treatment, organ transplant patients and others with compromised immune systems.
We are giving emergency practical, mental, and emotional health support 24 hours day to these families by:
- Acting as a bridge between hospital and home, relieving pressure on vital NHS staff by giving emotional support to parents who have nowhere else to turn.
- Delivering breast milk from new mothers to their babies on neonatal wards, as they are separated and unable to visit.
- Sourcing and delivering vital medical and grocery items that vulnerable families need to keep going. For example, medicine, milk and nappies.
- Giving regular video and telephone support to life-threatened children and their siblings to brighten their day and listen to their fears and worries.
- Remaining a lifeline for parents whose children have recently died, providing vital emotional support as they face the terrifying prospect that they do not know when or how they can hold a funeral for their child.
But we can only continue to do all this if we have money to fund it.