Charities have endured testing times in their fundraising efforts of late — with the Covid-19 pandemic devastating the vital income necessary to keep the organisations afloat and support the work they undertake.
One such charity, close to our hearts in Chichester, is Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, a children’s charity providing hospice care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions in East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire.
The charity’s Christmas Appeal is currently underway and the message is:
“Will you help families cherish every moment this Christmas? Your gift today can help bring care, joy and wonder to children at Chestnut Tree House this Christmas – and a sense of community and stability for their families at what is often a particularly difficult time.”
Kind-hearted fundraisers have vowed to redouble their efforts to try to boost the coffers of Chestnut Tree House. One such person in Kay Martin, who is the manager of the Royal Oak, Lagness. And with restrictions to be lifted when the current lockdown ends next Wednesday (December 2), Kay will be able to kickstart the pub’s efforts on behalf of the children’s hospice.
“Obviously charities depend on the goodwill and kindness of everyday folk and this is impossible to maintain when the opportunity to host functions and fundraising efforts is denied us by the lockdown and the various protocols in place due to the coronavirus. It has been widely reported that so many charities have suffered a cash crisis because of what has been going on with the virus, restrictions on movement and the lockdowns.
“We know through the Chestnut Tree House website that it currently costs more than £4million each year to provide all the care services offered. We’re told families are never charged for their care and less than 6p in every pound is funded by the government, so it’s clear that the children’s hospice relies heavily on the generosity, help and support of the people of Sussex.
“We have a number of initiatives we are working through here at the Royal Oak and we really will be trying to raise some significant monies to be able to help with the crucial fundraising drive. The Christmas appeal touches the heartstrings and if we can do our bit to try to help with that effort then we will be delighted. We’re very lucky in that our customers are very generous and we will once again be asking them for some kindness.”
It’s a heartfelt message. As a spokesperson for Chestnut Tree House concludes:
“Our goal is to provide the best quality of life for children, young people and their families, and to offer a total package of practical, social and spiritual support throughout each child’s life, however short it may be.”