Children’s cancer charity bounces back from pandemic

Children’s cancer charity The Joshua Tree is continuing to transform lives thanks to support from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The Joshua Tree was founded in 2006 by Lynda (pictured below)  and David Hill after their son was diagnosed with leukaemia and they experienced a lack of support services for family members during childhood cancer.

In February 2020 the charity’s state-of-the-art £1.4m support centre was opened in Sandiway, Northwich, Cheshire – only to have to close three weeks later because of Covid-19, which also impacted their fundraising ability.

All the required interior and landscaping work has been completed and allowed The Joshua Tree to fully reopen in May 2021 to support families.

At the start of the pandemic the Steve Morgan Foundation awarded the charity £12,230 from its Covid-19 Emergency Fund, followed by an additional £80,000 from Community Match Challenge (CMC) Fund.

The CMC was a match-funding partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), which saw the Steve Morgan Foundation hand out £20m in 59 days and support 130 charities, including The Joshua Tree.

Pippa Watson-Peck, Communications and Fundraising Manager at The Joshua Tree, said: “The funding from the SMF has allowed us to reach a considerable number of vulnerable families that are dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis across North Wales that we would not have been otherwise able to support.

“The additional funding has allowed for the support centre to continue to open and run providing families a safe and secure environment for all family members to access.

“We require £500,000 income a year to meet the costs of the charity and the running of the centre. We don’t receive any statutory funding and the impact Covid-19 had was immense in that we weren’t able to hold fundraising events and there was a distinct lack of supporter and corporate fundraising due to restrictions.

We are keen to spread the word of The Joshua Tree to not only increase potential donors, but more importantly, let families who may need our support be aware of the charity and the services we offer.

“Although we are a childhood cancer charity, we support children and young people up to the age of 25, and for as long as they need it with bespoke, tailored support to suit their individual family member needs. This may be the parents, grandparents, siblings, poorly child, school friends or any other close relative or friend to the poorly child.

“On average it costs £4,000 a year to support a family and we welcome sponsors to help us continue the support service, at a time when the number of family referrals has increased considerably since the lifting of restrictions.”

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