Although we had to cancel our major fundraising events for 2021, local businesses have been praised for their ‘incredible support’ despite facing their own financial challenges.
We made the tough decision last week to cancel our three most popular events, Pontesbury Potter, Colour Run and Dragon Boats, all of which attract hundreds of participants and bring in thousands of pounds in fundraising.
But the events’ corporate sponsors and many of the participants who had already signed up said we could keep their sponsorship and entry fees.
Norma Ross, our director of income generation, said we were ‘incredibly grateful’ for the support of the businesses and participants and added: “We are just so touched by everyone’s thoughtful generosity.”
The charity has seen its finances badly affected by the pandemic despite community and business support and regular grant aid from the NHS.
The donations from local firms and individuals involved in the events come on top of another boost from businesses when some of the landlords for our shops again agreed to waive rents.
Taken together with the event entry fees, we have had the equivalent of a donation worth more than £73,000.
The generosity of local businesses sits alongside support from government and the NHS, which includes access to short-term grants designed to help hospices struggling with continued care commitments but reductions in their ability to raise funds themselves. The NHS has confirmed we will be eligible to receive its latest grants until the end of March.
Norma said: “We are not out of the woods yet, cancelling our fundraising events will be a big blow financially for us, but the grants and the support of our local community are a huge help for us.
“For our landlords to waive our rents on some of our shops is wonderful. They have done this from the very start of the pandemic, when we had to close our shops in the first lockdown, and they did it again in November and then have continued it during this lockdown and it made such a difference to us. We can’t thank them enough.
“Our corporate supporters have raised sponsorship for their places in our Dragon Boats event which was to take place this summer. But although we have cancelled this due to government regulations and because the safety of those taking part is paramount, they have very kindly told us that we can keep the money.
“And some people who had already paid their deposits for either Colour Run and Dragon Boats have also said we do not need to issue refunds. Again, this is so kind of them.
“We know that we play a very important role in the community and that we are valued. But actions such as these really do help at a time when we are finding things tough financially.
“We are so lucky to have such wonderful support from both business and individuals. Although we are facing great uncertainty, we can’t stop caring. We really do appreciate everything that people do for us and we will spend every penny with care.”