The children and young people’s cancer charity Clic Sargent has launched an emergency fundraising appeal after it estimated it could lose 60 per cent of its fundraised income in the next six months.
The charity has given out more than £45,000 in hardship grants to families affected by cancer since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and said it had seen a “drastic increase” in the number of calls to its social workers, at the same time as facing a fall of up to 60 per cent in donations.
The charity, which brought in £29.5m in the year to 31 March 2019, is funded entirely by voluntary income.
In a statement launching the campaign, the charity said it had “never been so busy” because the families it supports were seeking help with concerns about Covid-19 and financial strain.
“During the pandemic, Clic Sargent is having to find new ways to provide urgent support to families in isolation,” the statement said.
“To meet the increased demand for support it is urgently trying to buy new things it hadn’t anticipated, including laptops for social workers to provide crucial support remotely and protect children from risk of infection.”
The charity is also fighting to keep open its accommodation for parents who want to be near their children in hospital.
It said its income was plummeting because fundraising events and activities were being postponed or cancelled, all face-to-face and community fundraising was being cancelled and it had been forced to temporarily close its 26 charity shops.
Rachel Kirby-Rider, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Cancer doesn’t stop for coronavirus. The young cancer patients and families we support are facing a real crisis and need us more than ever.
“One parent told us that they feel as worried now about coronavirus as they did the day that they were told their child had cancer.
“We will continue to fight to be here for those families, but we urgently need funding to do that.
“Our supporters are incredible and today we’ve launched an emergency appeal to try raise the funding we need, but we also desperately need the government to help charities that are supporting the most vulnerable people in this crisis to survive.”
People can text GIVE to 70030 to donate £5.