CLIC Sargent has launched an emergency fundraising appeal to help young cancer patients and their families in crisis struggling with the huge emotional and financial impacts of Coronavirus.
The appeal comes as the charity is dealing with a huge increase in demand for its social work support services from anxious families because of Coronavirus, worried about their child’s risk of infection, families separated by isolation rules, struggling financially or practically getting to their child’s bedside in hospital. This is set against a worrying picture for the charity, which relies on 100% voluntary funding and is facing a 60% drop in income from donations needed to fund this support.
Since the start of Coronavirus outbreak in the UK, CLIC Sargent has given out over £45,000 in hardship grants to families in crisis struggling to afford the essentials such as food and paying bills. Many were already at financial breaking point before the pandemic.
CLIC Sargent Social Worker, Rachel said: “We have never been so busy. Families are so worried and parents are anxious about their children being so vulnerable to Coronavirus and how they will cope financially too. It’s completely heart-breaking, but we’re there for them and helping support them in every way we can. They need us now more than ever – I don’t know how they would cope – or who they would share their worries with if we weren’t here for them.”
During the pandemic CLIC Sargent is having to find new ways to provide urgent support to families in isolation. To meet the increased demand for support it is urgently trying to buy new things it hadn’t anticipated, including laptops for social workers to provide crucial support remotely and protect children from risk of infection.
The charity is also fighting hard to keep its Homes from Home near hospitals open so that parents have somewhere to stay for free and be close to their child during their treatment. Staff at the Homes from Home, a ‘slipper walk’ away from hospitals, are seeing heart-breaking situations in some parts of the country where without them parents would have no way to be at their child’s bedside.
CLIC Sargent have added their voice to the national #EveryDayCounts campaign, urging the Government to take urgent measures to secure the future of charities caught in this financial crisis of balancing increased demand with sudden drops in income. The charity, which relies entirely on voluntary donations to fund its services, is seeing income plummet due to fundraising events and activities being postponed or cancelled, stopping all face to face and community fundraising and being forced to temporarily close charity shops in line with instructions from Public Health England.
Rachel Kirby-Rider Chief Executive said: “Cancer doesn’t stop for Coronavirus and the young cancer patients and families we support are facing a real crisis and need us more than ever. One parent told us that they feel as worried now about Coronavirus as they did the day that they were told their child had cancer. We will continue to fight to be here for those families but we urgently need funding to do that. Our supporters are incredible and today we’ve launched an emergency appeal to try raise the funding we need, but we also desperately need Government to help charities, who are supporting the most vulnerable people in this crisis, to survive.”
To support CLIC Sargent and donate today, click here to donate online or text GIVE to 70030 to donate £5*
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