Children's hospice faces £500k funding shortfall after pandemic challenges
- Credit: Richard House
After the difficulties of the pandemic, a Newham children’s hospice is facing a funding shortfall.
Over the past 18 months, Richard House has endured the suspension of key services, closure of charity shops, and postponement of events and other vital fundraising activities.
In light of this, it faces a £500,000 shortfall and might have to scale back its services.
Up until now, the Beckton hospice has managed to adapt and recommence its key services in a Covid-safe way - but it is unclear for how long that will last.
Richard House nurse Elaine Reid said: “We put a number of things in place to ensure everyone’s safety, isolating children and their parents in the side bedroom where necessary.
“We couldn’t have done it without the kindness and support we received from such generous donors.
“The donation of PPE equipment including masks, gloves, aprons, face shields and scrubs meant that we were able to protect ourselves and others when supplies from NHS were running low.
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"The care team really pulled together and we have done our best to provide the best care during these tough times."
As demand for key services grows, Richard House has 42 families on its Hospice at Home waiting list, pending additional funding.
Richard House mum Olivia, who did not want her surname published, said: “The pandemic is a good example of the lack of awareness surrounding families who have children with complex health needs.
“We felt forgotten by the world around us, the only advice we were given by outside professionals was to just shield.
"Consideration from the government wasn’t taken with regards to how we would be feeling.
"But Richard House kept reaching out to us. They offered weekly music therapy sessions for my daughter and family events and arts and crafts via Zoom.
“This, including remote music therapy sessions, made us feel part of the world again, whilst we are still in isolation."
Richard House relies on the generosity of donors, as just 30pc of its operational costs are government-funded.
Visit www.richardhouse.org.uk for more information about the hospice and how you can help.