Thanks to the fantastic support we received for our emergency 'Survive and Thrive' appeal, our expert services have survived the immediate financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We needed to raise £500,000 by the end of September to ensure our services could continue to provide advice and life-changing support to disabled people; helping each person to develop key life skills, increase mobility and maximise their independence. Support from across the country has meant that we've raised a fantastic £551,077 since June! 

Over 2,453 people took part in events or made a donation, raising in excess of £157,000 for QEF.  Lots of people took part in our new virtual fundraising activities including The Big Thrive – a sponsored walk or cycle to somewhere that supports your mental health; Reach the Peak – a month long walking and climbing challenge and the Queens Tea – a virtual afternoon tea in honour of the charity’s founding supporter, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

We were also selected as one of just 100 charities across the UK to benefit from Barclays 100x100 UK Covid-19 Community Relief Programme, for which over 6,000 charities applied. And we were successful in applying to the National Lottery, supported by HM Government, for help with increased costs related to COVID-19. We also worked in partnership with local Councils and Health Authorities to respond to the funding emergency and significant increases in care costs caused by Covid-19.  Their support recognised the important contribution that QEF’s services make to the Health and Social Care system and the potential impact that would fall on them directly had our services been forced to close.

QEF Chief Executive, Karen Deacon said “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received for our emergency appeal. Everyone who has donated has been part of QEF’s lifeline during a time of national crisis. Like many other charities, a few months ago we were facing an uncertain future due to the severe financial impact of the pandemic, but now, thanks to everyone’s generous donations, both large and small, our expert services have survived and we are truly grateful.

“We have managed to keep our residential care services open throughout the pandemic, working hard to keep frontline staff and vulnerable service users safe.  We have worked closely with the NHS, bringing clients into our neuro rehabilitation service directly from hospital and helping to free up vital ITU beds.  We have re-opened most of our mobility focused assessment services, albeit with reduced capacity and money raised through the emergency appeal is currently helping QEF to bear the costs of this reduced operating capacity.  And we have also opened the ground floor of our flagship Care and Rehabilitation Centre (CRC) - a major milestone for QEF and a significant achievement during a pandemic. 23 neuro rehabilitation clients can now benefit from the teams’ expertise, along with superb facilities, including spacious bedrooms, innovative accessible technology and extensive therapy spaces.  The future of the charity is looking more secure, although full recovery is still some way off.”

We are now developing plans to expand our neuro rehabilitation service by equipping and staffing the first floor of the Care and Rehabilitation Centre (CRC), so we can open another 25 beds. The aim is to support up to 48 people at a time; providing expert care and therapy after an acquired brain injury, stroke or increasingly, a neurological complication after treatment for COVID-19.

Emma Barton, TV star and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, was Patron of QEF’s ‘Survive and Thrive’ appeal. She met several neuro rehabilitation clients at the CRC, helped to raise awareness of the appeal and even took on her own 13 mile Reach the Peak challenge with friends, raising over £1,400.

Emma said: “I am thrilled that QEF’s emergency appeal has smashed its target! With everyone’s support they have raised an incredible £551,077 since June. A big thank you from me, as appeal Patron, to everyone that got involved.  It’s so heart-warming to see how people have come together to support QEF’s services during this national crisis; helping disabled children and adults be as independent as possible. It has been a pleasure to be involved at such an important time for QEF.