Below is a letter posted on both charities’ websites, from Chief Executive Louise Parkes:
“In 2017 Sparks approached GOSH Charity about working in partnership. By coming together and sharing our resources and expertise, we aimed to make more money available to researchers from across the country who were trying to find treatments and cures for children with rare diseases.
“Since Sparks joined us in 2017, it has contributed £2.2million to our fantastic joint National Call, which provides money for pioneering medical research projects that could diagnose, treat and even cure rare childhood conditions. Sparks launched the incredibly powerful “No Time To Lose” campaign last year, and benefited from amazing support which has helped raise money to support invaluable child health research.
“But Sparks, like many small charities, has been hit particularly hard by the impact of Covid-19. So much of Sparks’ fundraising relies on events, which have been severely disrupted. After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to fully merge Sparks into GOSH Charity, which will take effect at the end of this financial year (March 2021). We have made this decision, as being a single charity is the most efficient use of our resources moving forward, and it means we can make the biggest difference possible to the critically ill children we exist to help.
“Our decision to merge Sparks with GOSH Charity does not change our commitment to funding paediatric research nationally, and investing in the work of scientists and researchers who are working around the clock to find ways to change and save children’s lives, remains a top priority for us.
“By taking this decision to merge we can guarantee the continuation of Sparks’ important work as GOSH Charity has committed to the same level of funding for research into rare and complex diseases. We will make sure the history of Sparks, its name and all the fantastic successes it has achieved will live on within GOSH Charity, and we will continue to fundraise through Sparks for the rest of this financial year.”
Joint Chief Executive of GOSH Charity and Sparks