|Children's Hospice In Desperate SOS
|THE Donna Louise Trust has launched an urgent appeal to counteract the credit crunch and help avoid further cutbacks.|
THE Donna Louise Trust has launched an urgent appeal to counteract the credit crunch and help avoid further cutbacks.
A Support Our Services (SOS) campaign launched today aims to raise £300,000 by the end of their financial year on March 31.
Its respite services have already been cut this year as a result of the credit crunch and members of the public are being urged to step in to help keep services going for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Head of fund-raising and PR, Melanie Mills, said: “Today, the charity has put out a strong call to action to everyone across Staffordshire and South Cheshire to rally around their local children’s hospice.
She added: “Your support enables us to provide emergency respite to support families during difficult times, sensitive medical and nursing support to provide end of life care, counselling for children and families at any stage of the child’s illness, as well as bereavement support and specialist play and music therapy.”
The charity has just begun to shut its doors for two nights a week because donations have slowed during the recession.
As well as encouraging people to stage fund-raising events and give donations, SOS pin badges have been made and will be put on sale across a number of outlets.
One of the youngsters who relies and looks forward to a stay at Treetops is Tilly Griffiths. She suffers from muscle-wasting disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
The nine-year-old, of Cheadle Road, Cheddleton, enjoys stays at the Trentham Lakes hospice twice a year.
She said: “Being at Treetops is more exciting than being at home and we always look forward to when we go. There is always something exciting going on like theatre groups or dance groups.
“I can have sleepovers with my sister and eat chocolate. I’d be very sad if I couldn’t go.”
But the charity doesn’t just offer services for youngsters – the whole family can take advantage of respite care.
Tilly’s sister, 11-year-old Candice, enjoys attending the sibling group at Treetops.
She said: “It is really nice meeting the siblings because they are people who are in the same position as me.
“We’ve been on some fabulous trips.”
She added: “Treetops is a really fantastic place for all of us.”
Mum Jackie, aged 47, said: “People need to be reassured that every single penny contributed to the campaign will change the lives of not only the children who go to the hospice but the families and those caring for the children too.
“Treetops is a unique resource that this area is so fortunate to have. It would be a tragedy if it had to reduce its operations, or worse still to disappear.”