Yorkshire children’s hospice Martin House is set to benefit from a £750 million government aid package to hospices in the UK as part of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Martin House will receive a share from the fund, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, which includes £200 million earmarked for hospices.
Martin Warhurst, chief executive of Martin House, said:
This money is a welcome relief in the short-term, but it in no way makes up for the loss of our voluntary income, and the lockdown is still hurting us badly.
But it does mean we can play our part in supporting the NHS during this crisis. We are an integral part of the healthcare system, and we are helping the fight against Covid-19 by providing care to children who would otherwise be in hospital, and working to prevent hospital admissions, freeing up beds for coronavirus patients.
Martin House expects to lose £1.7 million in three months due to the lock down, and estimates it could see income fall by between £4 million and £7.4 million in the coming 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It relies on fundraising for nearly 90 per cent of its £9 million a year running costs, as it provides care to more than 400 babies, children and young people across West, North and East Yorkshire with life-shortening conditions.
The hospice has seen a total collapse in its voluntary income since the lockdown, which has forced it to close its charity shops and cancel fundraising events.
It has launched an urgent online appeal, which has so far raised around £35,000, but is also now furloughing some non-care staff under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in a bid to save money.
It’s far from an ideal solution, but we have no other choice. I want to emphasise that our care team is still here, and we are still providing expert, specialist care to children and young people.
Martin House has been here for families in Yorkshire for more than 30 years, and we are doing everything we can to make sure we are still here when we emerge from this crisis.
You can donate to Martin House’s online appeal at www.martinhouse.org.uk/urgentappeal