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Opinion: We must give charities help they need

PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 April 2020

East Ham MP Stephen Timms has signed a letter to the PM asking for a hardship fund to support community based charities.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms has signed a letter to the PM asking for a hardship fund to support community based charities.

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Among all the damage from the coronavirus lockdown, charities haven’t had enough attention. Organisations we have often taken for granted are suddenly fighting for survival.

Take Richard House Children’s Hospice in Beckton, for example. It’s vital support for children with life-limiting health problems has made it one of Newham’s most popular organisations.

But Richard House now faces a massive challenge. It was looking forward to celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with big fundraising events. They can’t now go ahead.

Richard House has very little income from the NHS. It has been depending on income from its six charity shops.

All have now had to close. As a result, it has already had to cut its services back to the essential basics.

To ensure Richard House can continue, they have launched their Eggs-traordinary Easter Appeal.

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They are asking people to help keep essential core services running by donating the value of an Easter egg, a coffee or their commute (if working from home).

Please give generously if you can! You can donate through justgiving.com/campaign/Easter2020.

Together with other MPs from all parties, I have just signed a letter to the prime minister calling for an Emergency Hardship Fund for community-based charities.

Our letter points out “they provide the infrastructure of voluntary effort to support the most vulnerable, facing greater hardship than ever”.

We specifically highlight adult and children’s hospices “taking the pressure off our hard-pressed NHS and social care sectors or stemming the flow of people who would otherwise need more intense medical care”.

But many other community-based groups are at risk too.

I’d like to thank everyone who is volunteering in east London during this crisis, including in all our voluntary, community and faith organisations.

Thank you for what you are doing. We need you to be able to continue!


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