We find out how charities across Liverpool have been adapting throughout the coronavirus pandemic - The Guide Liverpool

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We find out how charities across Liverpool have been adapting throughout the coronavirus pandemic


Charities across Merseyside are among those hugely affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

But while for many it has caused a drop in donations, others have seen more surprising results…

Alder Hey Children’s Charity and Claire House Hospice are among many who have seen a drastic fall in funds.

Alder Hey launched its first ever TV campaign to appeal for help following a fall of more than £1m to the popular hospital’s charity.

The Appeal from Alder Hey Children’s Charity asked supporters to commit just £5 a month to help support the life-saving work which goes on at the hospital every day.

It was launched on June 15 for four weeks after it revealed an estimated income gap of £1.2m as a result of cancellations and postponements of scheduled fundraising events due to Covid-19 restrictions, which it said had also impacted on retail sales, individual giving and corporate donations.

Image by Gareth Jones

Fiona Ashcroft, CEO of Alder Hey Children’s Charity says:

“The Covid-19 outbreak hit us hard and many of our fundraising activities, challenges, runs and events have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely, leaving us short of vital income so it is critical we find alternative ways to support the hospital now. A regular gift of £5 can help us do that and it allows us to plan ahead.”

Funds raised from the appeal, voiced by actress and Loose Women presenter Denise Welch whose son Louis was treated by the hospital, will make up for some of the losses and enable the Charity to continue to provide vital support. (It had already pledged £1.9 million to Alder Hey during the crisis to fund mobile equipment, innovative technology, urgent research projects and additional support for the wellbeing of frontline staff).

Image by Gareth Jones

“The crisis hasn’t altered our dedication to every single child treated at Alder Hey and we remain determined to fund new equipment and a variety of important projects this year, including our new Children’s Mental Health Appeal, as well as our ongoing requirements like arts and crafts, physio activity packs and wellbeing services for frontline staff.”

The charity has been overwhelmed by the response so far. 

Fiona says: “We have been blown away yet again by the unstinting generosity of people in the North West who have responded so well to our call for support.  The TV Appeal has encouraged more people to pick up the phone and call us or go online and sign up for a direct debit to support the amazing Alder Hey.”

The TV appeal ends on Sunday, July 12, and it’s not too late for people to sign up before – or after – then. You can set up a direct debit for the charity now by visiting www.alderheycharity.org and clicking DONATE.

Meanwhile, Children’s Hospice Claire House has seen a similar fall in donations to its charity with income down by an anticipated £1m which it says is a ‘massive amount’.

Gillian Nove, its Director of Income Generation, says:

“It’s been quite a challenging time for us at Claire House over the last four months, as it has in so many charities throughout the country. 

“We anticipate that our fundraising income will be down by about £1 million this year. The restrictions have meant that events, community and corporate income specifically have taken a real hit. It is impossible to hold traditional events just now, such as running or cycling races, and this is likely to continue throughout this year and into next.”

But she said the great fundraising team at the hospice has been ‘brilliant’ at adapting to the new ways of working and thinking up new ideas. 

She says: “We’ve all been inspired by the emergence of local heroes – individuals young and old, who have got behind our cause and done something amazing to raise money. We’ve had Courtney and her dad who hosted a Big Bash from their front room and raised over £20k, three-year-old Edith who raised over £1k by running every day in lockdown and Lewis who climbed the equivalent of Ben Nevis on his stairs.

“Lewis inspired us to launch the Step Up Challenge in March, to get people to raise money by walking up virtual hills in the safety of their own homes!” adds Gillian.

Claire House Hospice currently has the 100ks of Summer challenge running if anyone would like to get involved, and they can walk, run, hop, skip, cycle or crawl 100km as long as they complete it before the end of August. Individuals who raise more than £100 will get a ‘lovely medal as a well done from us’.

Other ways to help include signing up to its lottery. Gillian smiles: “We have a big rollover in the lottery at the moment, so now is a great time to sign up!”

You can sign up to the lottery here and to the 100ks of summer here.

But some charities have seen ‘increases’ rather than falls!

Rescue Me Animal Sanctuary like many others, it says, across the UK, has seen a rise in the number of people wanting to rescue a pet, rather than buy one.

They say: “Of all the potential effects to the Covid crisis, the last thing that we expected was such an unprecedented increase in the amount of people looking to invite a rescue pet into their lives.

“It is so wonderful to see so many people choosing to adopt rather than shop.”

They say they are unable to keep up with enquiries and the 80-90 adoption applications every week, with only 10 pets currently emotionally and physically ready to move on to new homes.

Yet, while it’s frustrating for them they have asked people to be patient.

“A good animal rescue organisation wants the adoption process to enhance the lives of both the animal and the adopter. We can say with hand on heart that it is never about making a profit. Proper animal rescues cannot supply to demand…that goes against how we work.

“Thank you to all those willing to be patient. Your lost soul is out there waiting for you and we can help you find them in due course.”

Got a story you would like to share with us? Email us at [email protected] and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for regular updates for Liverpool.

Get all of the latest news for Liverpool and beyond here.

Got a story you would like to share with us? Email us at [email protected] and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram for regular updates for Liverpool.


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