This is…Children’s Hospice Week 2020 - taking place between 22 and 28 June to celebrate and raise vital funds for the 54 children’s hospices across the UK. This year the families supported by Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice have felt the effects of lockdown more than anyone, with social isolation taking its toll families have been left exhausted after months of providing 24/7 care for their child at home.
Children’s hospices like Forget Me Not have offered these families an absolute lifeline – finding new ways to connect with families and providing vital capacity to take the pressure off the NHS. But as a charity we have faced unprecedented challenges – Forget Me Not relies on the amazing generosity of our supporters’, who each year raise as much as 90% of our income through fundraising and our shops to enable our vital work. With our 14 charity shops having been closed, and supporters having been unable to take part in challenge and fundraising events, we need support now more than ever.
Led by UK charity Together for Short Lives, national awareness week Children’s Hospice Week will celebrate the amazing children and families we support, and our care staff and supporters who have been working so hard during the coronavirus crisis. And we’re calling on members of the public to do something amazing and make a donation to help Forget Me Not continue to offer care to children now and into the future. “We know that times are tough right now, but like so many other charities, we’re fighting for survival. That’s why we’re asking our community if they can make a one off donation this Children’s Hospice Week to Forget Me Not. It could be what you’ve saved in petrol this week, or the cost of your usual cup of coffee. Every donation makes a huge difference – now more than ever. Because whilst our usual fundraising has all but stopped, the support that families need has increased” said Gareth Pierce, Director at Forget Me Not.
“Coronavirus has changed all of our lives, and families caring for a seriously ill child feel more alone than ever,” says Andy Fletcher, CEO for Together for Short Lives. “Lockdown has been so tough for the children and their families and many will carry on shielding long after social distancing ends. So they desperately need the support of their local children’s hospice more than ever. That’s why Children’s Hospice Week is so important this year – it is vital that we pull together to protect the lifeline care that children’s hospices provide for vulnerable families today, tomorrow and long into the future”.
There’ll be loads going on during the week, with the release of a national survey about the lived experience of families caring for seriously-ill children and the difficulties they’ve faced, high-profile celebrity supporters such as Holly Willoughby and Peter Andre will be getting involved, and we’ll be sharing stories about the work we’ve been doing to continue to offer lifeline care to the seriously ill children and their families we serve.