WellChild’s vital work for seriously ill children and their families during the COVID-19 crisis has received support from The National Lottery Community Fund in the form of a grant for nearly £90,000.
WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children, sprang into action at the start of the pandemic and has already sent out more than a quarter of a million items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to families caring at home for children with long-term complex health needs. The PPE items are being shipped out from WellChild’s Cheltenham headquarters all over the UK to keep children safe. The charity has also been an important source of advice and guidance to families including webinars and advice pages on its website.
The grant of £89,709, from the Community Fund, will allow WellChild to continue the work of its COVID-19 Direct Response Service, making sure the charity reaches as many families with complex needs children as possible and gives them the support they need during these tough times.
Many of the families supported by WellChild are delivering round the clock medical care to their children and are totally reliant on external carers coming into their home. Many have been shielding since the start of the crisis and have struggled to access the PPE they need to let carers safely into their home. This has forced many to have vital care stopped, leaving families to deliver complex medical procedures and 24/7 care regimes on their own. As the rest of society continues to ease out of lockdown, many of these families will remain in isolation for the foreseeable future.
WellChild has also been a crucial source of online information, guidance and resources during the crisis including the recent Back to School Webinar, a question and answer session with an expert panel from government, health, law and education. WellChild has also seen a huge surge in membership and conversations on its peer to peer Family Tree network as families with children with complex needs seek out information and support.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said:
“We are grateful for the funding from The National Lottery Community Fund towards the important work we are doing during the current crisis. These continue to be incredibly challenging times for the families we support, many of whom are continuing to shield. The funding is especially important at a time when our organisation is expecting to lose 60% of income this year due to the economic effects of the pandemic.”
The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK.
WellChild provides essential and practical support to ensure that the increasing number of seriously ill children and young people in the UK have the best chance to thrive – properly supported at home with their families.
The charity, which has HRH The Duke of Sussex as its Patron, provides a national network of children’s nurses, who work with families to ensure that children with complex care needs can leave hospital and return home and, through its Helping hands scheme, WellChild enlists the support of volunteers to tackle practical projects in the homes of children with serious health needs. Through its family training and support services, the charity ensures parents and carers are properly supported and empowered to care for their children safely at home.