Reuben’s Retreat has secured a grant worth almost £100,000 to help support its work "for many amazing and wonderful months to come".
The Derbyshire-based charity – which supports bereaved families and families of children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions – was selected as part of Global Radio’s Global’s Make Some Noise initiative and will receive £98,700.
The money will fund a children and young people’s champion at its centre for two years and part-fund a family champion staff role.
A multi-phase project to renovate Reuben’s Retreat is currently underway with work nearing completion on its latest development, which includes a hydro-pool, sensory and movie room and a messy-play room.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity is focusing its efforts on supporting 143 families virtually.
Founder Nicola Graham, whose son Reuben the charity was founded in memory of, told TTG that although the grant money was “absolutely amazing” the current situation faced by its families was “terrifying”.
“There are families who are on 12-week isolation programmes and who are feeling really scared and worried. The support we’re giving them hopefully makes them feel less afraid in these really tough times.
“Even something like a common cold right now can be really frightening for these families who have children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions so we’re doing all we can.”
While work remotely, Graham said the charity’s eight-person team had helped vulnerable families with more than 100 support packages delivered to homes; three virtual coffee mornings; over 100 support phone calls (equating to 60 hours of time) and more than 130 emails offering support.
The charity is also organising a “Holding Hope” virtual event next Friday to “focus on the positives, reassure families and build comfort during these difficult times”, Graham said.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday (8 April) a £750m package to help charities during the coronavirus crisis - with cash grants direct to charities providing key services during the crisis.
The scheme sees £360m directly allocated by government departments to those charities, while another £370m will go to small local charities.
Graham said Reuben’s Retreat would have to “sit tight and see” if it would be eligible for the government support and would look into the plans further when more detail became available.