EAST Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) will not renew the leases on its head office in Milton or regional office in Ipswich, as part of a cost-saving programme responding to a forecasted operational deficit of £2million over the next 12 months.
There are normally some 40 staff based in Milton’s High Street and at Ipswich’s Ransomes Europark. They will now continue a mix of working from home and within hospice buildings as EACH drives down costs, ensuring delivery of its frontline service during a time when retail income and fundraising activities remain significantly affected.
Phil Gormley, EACH Chief Executive, said:
“Our three hospices remain open and continue to provide care as we focus every penny on care delivery. However, staff in our offices have proved they can work remotely and will blend home working with using office space in our hospice buildings.
“Not renewing the leases was a fairly straightforward decision given the times we find ourselves in. This third lockdown, closing our shops, has meant putting over 120 members of staff back on furlough and standing down our 1,700 volunteers. While our fundraisers worked hard over the festive period, our latest forecasting shows an operational deficit of £2million over the next 12 months. Once again, this illustrates why we need our service delivery underpinned by proper statutory funding.”
Last year, EACH only received 16% of its income from statutory sources. Aside from that, it relies on over £6million coming in from trusts, major donors, businesses, community groups, individuals and events, as well as £5million in income from its retail operation. Fundraising activities have been vastly reduced as a result of restrictions, such as EACH’s Christmas tree collections that were cancelled earlier this month. Meanwhile, every time shops have to shut the charity loses around £100,000 income a week. Trying to manage retail activity back to sustainable levels of income in between lockdowns has brought some success, but trading is still not at the levels it needs and has budgeted for.
At EACH’s hospices, COVID testing is now being carried out for staff, families, contractors and external care professionals. Staff have also started to receive the first of their vaccination jabs.
There has been a surge in day-to-day requests for support from families who have been shielding and become exhausted from providing care alone. Over the festive period, EACH’s hospice in Ipswich, The Treehouse, opened on Christmas Day, its hospice near Norwich, The Nook, on Boxing Day, and end of life care was provided in the community by staff from EACH’s hospice in Milton.
EACH wrote to MPs across the region to call for more funding for short break care back in October and among those to respond was Will Quince, MP for Colchester, who has not only highlighted the charity’s work to the chancellor but is making a more immediate contribution by organising and hosting a virtual quiz to raise money for EACH today.
There are plenty of ways to support EACH, including its EACH Mile Counts virtual event in February, challenging individuals and families to walk, run or cycle 100 miles over the course of the month.
Find out more about getting involved and the charity’s vital work by visiting: www.each.org.uk.