05:21PM, Wednesday 08 April 2020
The co-founder of a children’s hospice says she has been ‘truly heartened’ after almost £30,000 was donated following a plea for support.
Fiona Devine set up The Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service with her husband, John, in memory of their son, Alexander, who died in 2006 aged eight.
In an open letter published on Friday, March 27, 13 years to the day that the charity was established, Fiona said it was ‘under threat’.
After being forced to cancel the majority of future fundraising activities, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity is set to lose more than £400,000 in the next three months.
Fiona explained that 96 per cent of what is needed to run the service comes from these activities, and donations, and launched an appeal asking for the community’s help.
So far this appeal has raised £29,110 prompting Fiona to write a new letter to the charity’s supporters which begins, ‘my message to you all today is very simple - thank you for giving us hope’.
Sent today, it reads: “I have been truly heartened by how many of you have started to reach out to our charity offering your support, despite your own challenges that you are facing.
“As we prepare for the difficult times ahead, it brings myself and the Alexander Devine team so much hope.”
She adds:” I am truly thankful to each and every one of you that has got behind us.
“I hope that in the coming weeks we will continue to see this support grow, helping us to sustain the crucial service we are providing children and families that desperately need us.”
In the letter Fiona also says that the specialist care the Alexander Devine Hospice Service provides ‘is now more critical than ever for our families and the demand on our team is growing’.
It reads: “We support some of our society’s most vulnerable children and we play a vital role in keeping these seriously-ill children out of hospital and making sure they are clinically safe at home.
“This also means being able to minimise the impact on hospitals and resources that are needed in the fight against Covid-19.”
The letter ends with a plea to ‘keep supporting us in whatever way you can’.
It says: “Whether that be making a donation or perhaps sharing our story with friends, colleagues or family. We need your support now more than ever.”
To make a donation visit the Alexander Devine Children's Hospice website.
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