There is no doubt that crisis managing during the 12 week lock down period from the 23rd March is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. From managing the shifting sands of our financial position, to supporting all of our staff, working and furloughed to ensuring accountability of public money and encouraging our donors to continue supporting us, its been a marathon…….and we are nowhere near the finish line, this is just an early water station.
But we have been pace making in the sector, responding to the needs of the families we support, opening up new and responsive services, transforming some of our services into digital services and standing side by side with our colleagues in the NHS.
Coronavirus put a stop to lots of things, but what it didn’t do was take away the needs that our families have for support. Our recent survey shows that during this time, families had less support than ever with many of their services cancelled, no schools open to attend and no wider family available to lend a hand. Even really practical things like shopping for food have been really hard. Almost all of the children we support have been shielded, which has meant even where services were available, people were often frightened to use them. There is no doubt that being a family carer at this time has been incredibly difficult, and looking to the future, considering the needs of parents as carers and siblings as young carers will be key to how we move forward.
The infographic shows what we have been doing in lockdown. We have done this, at points, without knowing how our staff would be paid, without knowing when our usual sources of income could be working for us again, without knowing how many of our staff we could keep well and without the support of our volunteers, who outnumber our staff by 4:1.
We’ve played our part in the communities we work in, our donors and supporters have been our cheerleaders, encouraging us and overwhelming us with their generosity every step of the way, but this is not the end. The finish line is not even in sight. We have to keep going because a growing number of children with life limiting illnesses and their families in West Yorkshire need us.
And because they need us, we need you.
Can you help us get to the next water station in this marathon? Find out how here.