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Statement from the Chief Executive of The Maypole Project on the Government proposals

The Maypole Project really welcomes the Governments offer of financial support for charities – a great development which acknowledges the VITAL role that charities play in society today.

However charities – of all sizes, but particularly small charities such as The Maypole Project are really concerned that the level of support is still far too low – falling short of the NCVO estimate of the need for £4bn funding loss across 12 weeks.

The Maypole Project’s Family Support Workers are front line workers in the Covid-19 crisis.   We believe that not only will there be a huge demand on this “pot” of money and a difficulty with allocation but whilst we will apply we are uncertain that our vital support work will actually qualify for this funding.

Whilst we work alongside hospices – we will not qualify for the children’s hospice grant.  Our package of professional psychological and social support designed to each family, does not appear to meet the criteria.

All of the families The Maypole Project support through therapies, groups and activities have children in palliative care or children who have very complex medical needs.  This means that their children are medically fragile and this makes them extra-ordinarily vulnerable to Covid-19.    These families who are already already anxious, stressed and fearful, are now facing heightened fear and anxiety.  The unthinkable death of their child becomes more real, they face additional emotional vulnerability of  their children and whole family through this crisis.     The respite of school, and other services, has mostly disappeared.  Families are in “lockdown” together exacerbating already stretched family relationships.   Travel to hospital settings for essential treatments must continue; creating complications for the whole family.  Isolation – always an issue to be addressed – becomes more real as they are separated from extended family and the community that can support them.

The Maypole Project has adapted ALL of it’s services to online provision; our team consistently alongside them as the trusted professional they have learnt to rely on.  This not only gives them a focus but also relieves the pressure on the NHS team knowing that we are there for them.

We have taken action to make cost savings available, furloughing over 60% of our staff, including key fundraising team.

We cannot furlough our support staff as we know that our support MUST continue; furlough means they cannot even volunteer to support families.  However, without a significant injection of financial support this may not be able to continue.

Whilst fundraising has dropped by more than 80% – our new crisis appeal is really helping and we thank our donors for their ongoing support.  This, though we believe is a Government issue and we plea with them to make the necessary creative adjustments to this package of funding to support The Maypole Project and similar charities who will otherwise have to stop services immediately – and families in crisis in absolute despair.