Christmas at The Donna Louise is always a magical time, and despite what you may have heard in the press recently, this year will be no exception. Most of the families we support have no way of knowing whether or not this Christmas will be the last they get to spend together, so we will be doing everything we can to help create special memories that will stay with them forever.
Unfortunately, 2018 has been a particularly tough year. We have had to make the difficult decision to make five non-care roles at The Donna Louise redundant as part of a series of cost-cutting measures. Our families have seen a significant reduction in the support available from government-funded services, and as a direct impact of this, have increasingly turned to The Donna Louise to get the vital support they need. Over the last two years, spending on services for children, young people and families at The Donna Louise has increased greatly as a result, yet we have received no increase in government funding to cover the additional costs of doing this and now rely on the generosity of members of the public to fund 90% of our running costs.
We are continually humbled by the kindness and generosity shown by our supporters, but the fundraising environment is growing ever-tougher. The public are being approached by more and more charities who are competing for every precious pound. We have set about developing additional ways to raise funds, such as opening new shops and launching our own Donna Louise lottery. However, these new income streams require a significant investment and it will be some time before those investments pay off.
Our families tell us just how difficult, exhausting, isolating and scary life can be. They frequently describe The Donna Louise as a ‘lifeline.’ If we don’t raise the money we need to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for our services, the reality is that The Donna Louise may not always be able to give local families the support they so desperately need. It could even mean that some families may have to face the future alone. That’s unimaginable to us and we will do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening.
Asking people who already give so much, to give more, is not an easy thing to do, but we are asking everyone to make a donation today so that The Donna Louise can continue to be there wherever, whenever, always. We know that finances are particularly stretched at Christmas, but please give as generously as you can, and ask others to donate, too.