The Wokingham Paper

Charity founder calls for support on 13th anniversary of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice launch

Fiona Devine calls for community support as her charity faces an uncertain future.
Fiona Devine calls for community support as her charity faces an uncertain future.

ON THEIR 13th anniversary, a local children’s hospice is calling for donations as they desperately search for stability in uncertain times.

Thirteen years ago to the day, Fiona Devine launched the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice in memory of her late son.

“At the start, we had nothing but the whole hearted belief that what we were doing was right,” she explained. “We just knew what a difference this would’ve made to our extraordinary little boy.”

But now, Mrs Devine has launched an emergency appeal, in the hope to secure a stable future for her Hospice.

She has estimated that in the next three months, the charity will face a loss of £400,000 — due to the coronavirus crisis in the UK.

Beginning with just one nurse, and growing into a children’s hospice supporting 130 local families, the charity has celebrated several milestones since its beginning in 2007.

The latest being the launch of their hydrotherapy sessions. 

The Hospice has a pool to run hydrotherapy sessions for the children.

But Mrs Devine is calling for support to help the charity build a stable future ahead.

In an open letter, she said: “I didn’t build Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service alone, it was built by you, our wonderful and generous community as a legacy to our extraordinary son. 

“Together we have come so far but now we are facing one of the toughest challenges we have come up against. 

“It weighs heavy on my heart as we prepare for the difficult times ahead and my hope is that you will continue to support our charity as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times.”

Mrs Devine hopes that her charity can continue to provide frontline care to the families who need it.

“Hospices, especially children’s hospices are the platforms that sit behind the NHS in terms of palliative and end of life care.”

She explained that the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice plays an important role in supporting the NHS, by working in partnership with them to provide support for children and their families.

“Now, I have more long term concerns about our future development,” she added.

“We have grown through carefully measured phases, each time ensuring that we have the funding to support the next stage of growth and the next service launched.

“Now, we need your help more than ever. To each and every one of you, please give what you can to help us maintain our much-needed and valued service. 

“Whilst we are grateful for any donation, what we need most of all is a sustainable income so please consider a pledge of a regular gift; a monthly donation that will help us as we plan for the future of our children’s hospice service.”   

Although they face uncertainty, the hospice continues to support families across the borough with the specialist care needed. 

The day care and hydrotherapy pool sessions have been temporarily stopped, so that staff can focus on providing support for families in their own homes.

To set up a regular donation, text ALEXANDER to 70085 to donate £5 per month.

Or if you would like to give a different amount, you can donate any whole amount between £1-20 viat text. For example ALEXANDER 10 to give £10 per month.

For more details on donation, visit: alexanderdevine.org/ways-to-give

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