Thornbury charity needs urgent help to survive as income plummets during coronavirus crisis
A THORNBURY charity is facing a struggle to survive after the coronavirus crisis saw its income from fundraising plummet.
Brain Tumour Support has been based in the town for 17 years and supports thousands of brain tumour patients and their families locally and across the country.
But the charity has had to furlough the majority of its staff and suspend many services, and has seen fundraising events cancelled due to restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Founder Tina Mitchell Skinner, who set up the charity after losing her husband to a brain tumour, said: “It breaks my heart to know that there are patients and families out there that need our help but we do not have resources to support them.
“Brain Tumour Support has grown every year to help more people.
“We had exciting plans to further extend our support services and then the pandemic hit.
“This also coincided with funding from Macmillan England coming to an end, so for us it was a double blow.
“We rely solely on voluntary donations and have an amazing army of fundraisers, but most of the events and activities they were planning have had to be cancelled or postponed, so our income has plummeted.”
The charity says it has two months to save its services – and is facing a financial crisis just as demand for its services is rising, with patients being more isolated and treatment delayed.
It means the charity is expecting an increase in demand for its services once lockdown ends.
Brain Tumour Support has adapted its services to try and help as many people as possible, including video chats instead of support groups, and has managed to keep its telephone support line and on-line support forum open for the time being. But it urgently needs donations to survive.
“We are currently working with over 1,500 patients and carers requiring critical and intensive support with many more waiting for help,” said Mrs Mitchell Skinner. “As well as patients who need our help, many NHS staff are also supported by us, as we provide a service that they simply do not have the resources to provide.
“We know these are challenging times for many people, but we are calling on you to consider making a donation, however much you can afford. Supporting us with a donation now, more than ever, will enable us to navigate through this devastating period so that we can survive, and continue to provide our crucial services now, and in the future.”
To support the charity visit its website.
Picture: Tina Mitchell Skinner with Jane Edwards, who has been helped by the charity after being diagnosed with a brain tumour