Latest update on Covid-19

An April update from our CEO, Jason Suckley

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In March, I wrote about our concerns around Coronavirus. I wrote of our main concern being for the wellbeing of our wish families, staff, volunteers and others who we work closely with to help grant children’s wishes. I wrote of our uncertainty over the impact of the virus on our financial situation. These impacts are now much clearer.

Our first concern remains with our wish children and their families.

So many of them have been at this point before – being isolated to protect them from infections during their treatment. So many of these brave, inspiring children and their families have spoken about how important it was for them to have something to look forward to during this time.

It’s particularly galling, knowing this, that we have had to cancel or postpone 2000 wishes as a result of the virus. That’s 2000 children who are now waiting for their wish.

That means that right now, critically ill children are in isolation with nothing to look forward to.

We are heartbroken. But we are determined to get back to granting these wishes as soon as it is safe to do so.

Like many other charities, our income is being significantly impacted by coronavirus too. We estimate that we will lose £2.7m in this financial year. For our charity to survive this, we have had to make immediate changes to how we work.

We have taken advantage of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme (furloughing) and more than 50% of our team have been furloughed or had to leave. This is also painful but I am proud of the team's response to this difficult news.

Those that remain are focusing on activities that support our wish families, the few fundraising activities it is safe to continue with and in ensuring that Make-A-Wish is best-placed to face our new future when restrictions on how we all live, and work, are lifted.

The communities we are all part of are more important than ever before. We need each other’s help to get through this bewildering period. We will need each other just as much when we come out of this situation too. We need to celebrate what we have in common, be grateful for what we have and look forward to working together to grant children's wishes in the future.

After this crisis, our wish children will need us all more than ever.

Until we can grant wishes again, we thank you for your ongoing support and wish you all well.

Stay safe.

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You can also send messages of hope to wish children who are waiting for their wish via #wishesarewaiting,