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Surrey children's hospice service faces threat of closure due to coronavirus

3 minute read
Surrey children's hospice service faces threat of closure due to coronavirus

Published by Carol Musgrave at 2:17pm 25th March 2020. (Updated at 2:19pm 25th March 2020)

A Surrey-based charity caring for children with life-limiting conditions could be forced to close as funding sources dry up during the coronavirus crisis.

Shooting Star Children's Hospices has launched an emergency appeal for support during the pandemic, saying it faces an uncertain future with fundraisers being cancelled and charity shops closing.

A statement from the charity says it "may no longer exist" in just a matter of weeks, without urgent funding. 

It has already had to shut its Hampton hospice "to prioritise those most in need," and currently only provides end-of-life care and emergency respite at its Guildford branch.

The charity helps 700 families, with hospices in Guildford and Hampton, and a home service across Surrey and London, giving support to children living with complex medical conditions.

90% of their income is generated through fundraising and donations from the community, which is now under severe threat due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The charity said the financial losses from cancellations of events "is already making an undeniable impact." 

It is appealing to the community to help support it to ensure it can continue providing its services, including end-of-life care and emergency respite.

Chief Executive of Shooting Star Children's Hospices, Nigel Harding, described it as "by far one of the most challenging times that many of us have had to face:"

"We are doing everything in our power to appeal to senior MP's and health authorities to help us, but right now we are predicting a shortfall of more than £2 million in the upcoming financial year, putting the future of Shooting Star Children's Hospices in the balance. 
 
"To continue to be there for the babies, children and young people, and their families, who need us now and long into the future, we have already had to make the difficult decision to close one of our hospices. 

"We have also had to prioritise those most in need, only providing end-of-life care and emergency respite.

" For us to maintain even this level of care, we need the help of those in the community. 
 
"The stark reality is, if we don't receive financial support in the coming weeks, we could face having to stop providing end-of-life care and emergency respite too and with the pressures facing the NHS, our services for those most vulnerable in our community are needed now more than ever. 
 
"I don't want to sound alarmist, but put simply, without our hospices the families we support will simply have nowhere left to turn."

If you can help please donate to  Shooting Star Children's Hospices emergency appeal here.