The Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan children’s hospice has welcomed the update from the UK Government on short-term limited relief for spiralling energy bills but warns that this may not be enough to meet the needs of children with life-shortening conditions, and their families, whom the charity supports.
Speaking on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show Maria Timon Samra, Chief Executive of Tŷ Hafan, said: “We’ve been hit with £500,000 annual increase on our energy £100,000 quote – that’s to cover our hospice, our office and our 19 retail shops which are vital to us as they bring in around 20% of our annual income.
“We have worked out from today’s announcement that our £100,000 bill will now go up to somewhere in the order of £300,000 which is still massive for us, and that price protection is just for six months.”
Mrs. Samra went on to say that, as a charity for whom 81% of funds is derived from its supporters, Tŷ Hafan is heavily dependent on public generosity to pay its bills so it can provide care, support, respite and end of life care services for children and families.
She also noted that “families of children with life-shortening conditions are themselves facing unbearable concerns because many of them have to keep on life-saving equipment on 24/7 at home, as we do in our hospice.”
Mrs Samra also acknowledged that “those people who kindly donate to us are themselves facing really difficult times. It’s really difficult for everybody out there so we really need the UK Government to do something that’s more sustainable longer term.
“Six months gives us a bit of a stay of execution and we are determined to keep our doors open but it’s really, really challenging.”
Together with North Wales-based children’s hospice, Hope House Tŷ Gobaith, Tŷ Hafan has written to all energy suppliers in the UK asking them, as a matter of urgency, to support families of children with life-limiting conditions.
The letter also warns that without help, the rising cost of energy may “ultimately impact on the support we (as children’s hospices) can provide to children and families at this difficult and frightening time.”
(Lead image: Tŷ Hafan)
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