During these difficult times, we are concerned about our ability to survive the current crisis as we struggle to respond to public perceptions about our charity status.
The Noah’s Ark Charity exists solely to raise funds for the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales – an NHS hospital. But, like several other charities that support healthcare in Wales, we do not stand to benefit from funds raised for NHS Charities Together, which has received an wonderful level of support from the British public over recent weeks.
The Noah’s Ark Charity raises up to £1.6 million per year which goes directly to funding equipment, facilities and services at Wales’ national children’s hospital. Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis in March, we have seen a 50% drop in income. Even with national discourse beginning to turn to recovery, most traditional fundraising streams for charities look unlikely to pick up for the rest of the year and we are bracing ourselves for a potential further drop.
Our charity director, Suzanne Mainwaring, says: “Our supporters have been wonderful during the last five weeks but the majority of those we’ve spoken to have understandably assumed that we’re OK because we’ll receive support via NHS Charities Together and the £750 million charity support package announced by UK Government earlier this month. But the reality is very different. At this moment we’re focused on supporting the hospital in whichever way asked of us as this current situation evolves and right now we are just managing to do that. We’re funding food for parent kitchens, iPads so that children can keep in touch with family at home and small tokens of recognition for front line staff to keep up morale. But we’re also acutely aware that the needs of the children, families, staff and services we set out to support before all this started are still very much a reality and will continue to be once all this is over.
“At the beginning of this year our ambition was to raise £2 million over the next 18 months. That money would have enabled us to fund the redevelopment of Jungle Ward which cares for children with complex medical needs and continue our support of the invaluable and dearly loved play specialist team for which, on its own, we need to raise £950 a day to fund. We were also excited about the prospect of supporting the work of our frontline colleagues in a number of new ways, including the establishment of an emotional support service for families on the paediatric critical care unit and funding advancements in care for children with cystic fibrosis. Currently our ability to do any of these things hangs in the balance. With almost half of our small team now furloughed or seconded to other roles, we’re cutting costs wherever we can while at the same time trying to generate as much income as possible. But in order to continue to meet the needs of our nation’s children’s hospital both now, and in to the future, we will rely entirely on the continued generosity of our nation’s people.”
We have set up an emergency appeal to support our work through the current crisis and beyond. We have also launched the Noah’s Ark Step Challenge, a positive family fundraising activity which people can partake in together from the comfort of their own home. For more information about our Resilience Fund, click here and to register for our Step Challenge, click here.
Huge thank you to those who are currently supporting us through both of these campaigns. We really do appreciate your support.