Royal family devastated as children’s hospital closes after £2 million coronavirus loss
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, patron of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, has been left “incredibly saddened” after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close one of its two sites. The closed facility, in Hampton, South West London, was visited by the Countess in February just weeks before the lockdown.
The site dedicated to helping 800 seriously ill children who need emergency respite and end-of-life care.
The charity has been visited by a number of senior royals including Prince Charles and Camilla, and the Duchess of Cambridge.
A Buckingham Palace source told The Mirror the Countess “is closely following their situation and being kept regularly informed”.
They added: “She was incredibly moved by a video they posted recently and she was incredibly sad to hear that they have had to close the Hampton hospice for now.
“She is hugely passionate about the role they play in the children’s lives and she will continue to support them where she can in the coming months.”
However, this is just one of dozens of hospices, which rely on the public’s generosity, facing unprecedented hardship.
Mass cancellations of fundraising events such as the London Marathon and the closure of high street charity shops have slashed funding.
Karen Sugarman, vice president of SSCH, which supports children in London and Surrey, said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating effect, like being run over by a massive steamroller.
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“We are in an unprecedented times and must raise money to keep the service going for children and families who rely on us.”
The hospice has also been supported by music mogul Simon Cowell and Spandau Ballet frontman Tony Hadley, plus David Walliams.
But with the situation desperate, Karen, who has been with the charity 18 years, raised £2,000 this month by singing and playing the accordion live to her friends.
She said: “I don’t play the accordion and I’m not a great singer but we are all doing what we can.
“The Countess and our other supporters are with us as well and that means so much. We are in an unprecedented times and must raise money to keep the service going for children and families who rely on us.”
Prince William is another royal who has continued to support charities through hardship.
The Duke of Cambridge most recently spoke to Corinne Hutton, founder of Paisley-based Finding Your Feet, and one of its beneficiaries.
She said: “To be told that Prince William would like to speak to us was just breathtaking. The fact that he has recognised and acknowledged the work we are doing and why it’s important is such incredible motivation.”
Published at Thu, 21 May 2020 03:13:00 +0000