As a charity that is funded through donations we have seen, like many other small charities a fall in general donations following two years of the pandemic and now the current cost of living crisis. At the same time we have seen the demand for our services being higher than ever before. To allow us to ensure we will remain an important part of the ‘support-offering’ to many families across the region we are making some small changes to the way we work.

So what does this actually mean? Well some changes have already been implemented. We have moved premises and with the kind support of donators have being able to create two great counselling rooms and a sensory room so we can offer support to many more children with our counselling and play therapy services. We have proactively reduced the cost of this service as demand increased, and are currently able to offering the initial block of six counselling sessions free of charge, with additional sessions still discounted to just £15 a session

Our Hospital Stay grant has also been applied for by more parents and professionals than ever before and we increased the payment from £100 to £150 to help pay for travel costs to the hospital, parking charges and of course so parents can still buy the extra niceties such as magazines, comics, arts and crafts etc for their child while they’re an in-patient.

We have also this last year doubled our capacity for respite breaks by buying a further caravan at Butlins and we are already booking families into a break for the 2023 season.

Lastly, our Christmas appeal has been one of the most successful ever, we have received overwhelming support and we have delivered over 2,000 presents to children who were in-patients over Christmas to hospitals all across the region, with Santa making a personal appearance at two of them too!

We do have to now look to the future and look at ways as a charity we can save some money so we can be in a position to continue to serve the community and we have taken the decision to firstly drop the Easter Appeal, although it brings a smile to children in hospital over Easter, it is very time consuming and we would like to concentrate on making our Christmas Appeal a magical experience and continue to expand this to more hospitals in the future.

We will also be pausing our 50:50 Grant. Those with applications already made will still be processed in the usual way and will receive a decision after the next Trustee Meeting. However, we will not be considering further new applications for the time being. We will continue to review our decision throughout 2023.

We understand the changes will not please everyone, but we thank you all for your understanding and am sure you agree that we have to remain proactive to ensure that Yorkshire Children’s Trust will be here for many years to come to support as many children as we can through our various themes of support.

May I wish you all the very best for the new year and if you would like to support our work with a one-off or regular donation, it would be very much appreciated – 100% of every donation will be used to support local children.