Update due to Covid-19

We want to update you all on what we have been doing recently and to let you know what changes we are having to make here at the Trust due to the impact of Covid.

The pandemic has hit us (and many other small charities) massively. Parents with children under 18 years of age have been affected by delayed or cancelled surgeries and treatment. Screening and testing for cancers such as breast and bowel have stopped altogether for months now and we are seeing the effects of the missed opportunities to detect the disease early in our referrals, with many being diagnosed as terminal from the offset.

Throughout this pandemic we have been doing everything we can to support children of a parent diagnosed with cancer. We adapted quickly to meet the needs of the families we support by offering lockdown activities that can be used within the home as many were shielding. We have continued to highlight the support needed for children during a
parent’s cancer across our social media pages.

But the pandemic has come at a great cost to us, seeing losses across all areas of our income with major fundraising events such as the London Marathon cancelled, where for the first time ever, we had 2 runners taking part. We have estimated an overall shortfall of £60,000 through fundraising events in 2020 alone, not an easy target to claw back with one worker and all community fundraising opportunities pushed back or cancelled completely. We are largely run by public donations. We have had to move all of our fundraising online and tried all kinds of ways to ensure our community of supporters have every opportunity to give and get involved, which we couldn’t have done without YOUR amazing support. We are so grateful to everybody who sponsored a lockdown activity item, donated to a raffle, tombola, prize draw and to those who chose to fundraise for us by running a race, putting a birthday fundraiser on Facebook, doing their own thing via just giving and so on.

We are the only national charity that focuses all of our support on the children of a parent with cancer. We are determined to continue our work in supporting these children and highlighting the emotional impact a cancer diagnosis to Mum and Dad has for these kids. Throughout this time, we have funded local respite activities for children to have some time
away from the house from seeing their parent at their worst through treatment (if the family are shielding then we adapt our support programmes accordingly). We continued to provide our emotional support packages via journals, a book or colouring to support a child’s emotional wellbeing and send a child Ozzy the Elephant teddy for cuddles and
comfort during this uncertain of times. We were also able to bring some families together when restrictions lifted to enjoy some outdoor activities together as part of our together time programme, set up to show children and young people they are not the only ones going through this reducing their feelings of isolation.

We are now at the stage where we need to reset and adapt what we offer to be able to continue. It’s with a heavy heart we have to make some changes and moving forwards children under 2 years of age will not be eligible for Ozzy the Elephant, we will be phasing out our Ozzy colouring books, and we will be making some slight changes to our local respite activity requirements. In the past we have been able to accommodate all different age groups within a family with different activities. Unfortunately, during this pandemic, this is no longer possible. We will be providing activities the children as a whole can do together. For example, if the children’s ages are 1, 5, 7 & 13 and the request are for an item for baby, cinema for 5 & 7-year-old, high street voucher for 13-year-old, this will no longer be possible. BUT we will provide an activity for the children, such as a farm park, cinema or eating out activity. Hopefully these measures above will only be temporary.

We are only able to do what we do thanks to you, the community who supports us. We know that the generosity of everyone donating to us is vital for our service to recover from the impacts of this pandemic. If you want to know how you can get involved in supporting us then please go to our website for ideas www.theosborne.trust.com

We will always be grateful to all of YOU for your sponsorship, donation, messages, practical offers of help and your understanding during this craziest of times. We will come out of this stronger by working together. We can’t do US without YOU. I personally would like to say a huge THANK YOU for your continued support in the most difficult of times my beloved charity has faced. Look after yourselves and stay safe.

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