As the UK gets set to take tentative steps to leave Covid-19 behind, we're feeling its effects more than ever, leaving us on a vulnerable financial footing. We need additional cash support to stop our being pushed to our limits.
- The number of children with life-shortening conditions is rising, which means we need to raise more money to provide essential care.
- Last year, our fundraising income fell by 46% and shop closures led to a £1m loss in sales.
That's why we're calling on you to support us by pushing yourself to the limit during Children's Hospice Week by taking on a fundraising challenge or making a donation.
Children's hospices like Forget Me Not deliver lifeline care to the UK’s most vulnerable and seriously ill children and families. Caring for a child with a life-shortening condition 24/7 at home can be exhausting, lonely and isolating and, after a year of shielding from the pandemic, families need the support of Forget Me Not more than ever.
Families like Taniesha’s. Diagnosed with a congenital heart condition before birth, Taniesha also has Downs Syndrome and has undergone a number of serious heart and bowel operations.
When Taniesha was very young, life was really hard. Deprived of sleep, the family had to come to terms with new medication routines and caring for their seriously ill daughter: “Taniesha wasn’t sleeping so we weren’t sleeping,” says mum, Lisa. “I had to set alarms to remind me when she needed to take which medication, because you’re that busy, you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re that tired, you forget what you need to do.”
But Forget Me Not has helped the family to feel less alone and has played a vital role in helping Lisa and her family deal with the challenges they’ve faced. “Forget Me Not’s been there throughout and I don’t think, emotionally, we’d have coped otherwise.”
Our chief executive, Luen Thompson, says: “Last year Forget Me Not’s fundraising was hit hard by the pandemic, especially income from our charity shops, community and events fundraising. Although we received much-needed government Covid emergency funding last year, as well as funding to provide additional capacity to the NHS, both have now ceased. Forget Me Not once again has to be mostly self-sufficient while continuing restrictions will mean our fundraising will not reach pre-pandemic levels in the coming year. This may have an impact on services.”
“And of course, the pandemic has pushed us to the limits in other ways too. I’m incredibly proud of the way the whole team has responded to the huge challenges they’ve faced over the last 15 months to ensure children and families continued to get the care and support they so desperately needed. For many of those families who were shielding and seeing no-one, we have been their only port of call. As a vital service for many struggling families, we are determined to continue to be here long into the future, but we can only do that with the help of the whole community. That’s why we’re calling on the public to push themselves to their limits this Children’s Hospice Week and raise vital funds – so we’re not pushed to ours.”
Although we receive government and NHS income from a variety of funding streams, this only accounts for about 6% of what we need to provide lifeline care and support. The majority of funding continues to be met by trading income, corporate funders and trusts, and the generosity of the local community.