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A team of 34 Wiltshire carers, nurses and support staff from the Devizes-based Julia’s House Children’s Hospice have set themselves a lockdown fundraising challenge to collectively walk, run or cycle 24,000 miles – a distance equivalent to travelling around the world.
It will certainly take them more than 80 days, as each staff member uses their daily exercise time to log their miles in an effort to jointly raise £50,000 which will help enable the charity to continue its vital work caring for local children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
Gemma Linford works as a carer for Julia’s House and is co-ordinating the challenge with the Wiltshire hospice team. Gemma says: “Staff wanted to do something to help the charity during this difficult lockdown period. COVID-19 has had a big impact on Julia’s House, not just in terms of a loss of income due to the fundraising events we have had to cancel and the shops we have had to close, but also in the ways we are able to provide care to the families we support.”
Julia’s House nurses and carers are continuing, under strict infection control procedures, to visit vulnerable children in their homes across Wiltshire and Dorset, responding to families’ changing needs on a daily basis. The care and support they provide at this time not only offers vital reassurance and advice to anxious parents, but crucially, is easing the burden on an overstretched NHS by enabling these children to stay at home.
The charity receives no funding from the government for its Wiltshire hospice, and relies entirely on public fundraising, donations and Gifts in Wills to continue its support of local families. Julia’s House has welcomed Government support to help compensate for its significant fall in income, but not knowing how long this support will continue nor how long the country will be in lockdown, the charity’s situation is challenging at a time when its care is such a lifeline for local children and families.
To donate to the Julia’s House Around the World in Wiltshire challenge visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gemma-linford2