In January 2020 QEF were financially stable and looking forward to opening the Care and Rehabilitation Centre in Spring and all the benefits this would offer service users. But the spread of the coronavirus and the resulting lockdown had a sudden and unpredicted impact on QEFs finances.
With large scale events cancelled, our voluntary income dropped by £500,000 in just a few weeks and we anticipated a £1 million shortfall. We did everything possible to mitigate this drop in income; furloughing staff, exploring Government support, renegotiating payments, selling assets and developing new opportunities to raise money. At the same time, we prioritised support for our frontline services, continually providing care and support for clients and residents who are some of the most vulnerable people in this pandemic and supporting our therapy and care staff through unprecedented challenges.
With stretched resources, our expert neuro rehabilitation teams continue to be in great demand; working closely with the NHS to provide rehabilitation for post COVID-19 patients who have complex needs as a result of their illness. We are very proud to be playing our part in the recovery from this pandemic, helping us all to move forward by supporting people when they need us most.
Despite all our efforts to bridge this unprecedented gap in our funding, we needed to raise £500,000 by the end of September 2020 to ensure our expert services could survive the immediate financial impact of this pandemic. Thanks to the many people, companies and organisations who supported our appeal, we've raised an incredible £551,077.
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.”
TV star Emma Barton was Patron of the appeal
TV star and Strictly Come Dancing finalist, Emma Barton, was Patron of the Survive and Thrive emergency appeal. Emma said:
"As a Surrey resident for more than 20 years, I was honoured to be asked to support QEF’s emergency Survive and Thrive appeal. Their work enables children and adults with disabilities to be as independent as possible – helping each person to live the life they choose. They change peoples’ lives. Any one of us could find ourselves relying on their expertise, whether it be after a stroke or a road accident that results in a brain injury. And today QEF are also supporting people who have suffered a neurological complication from COVID-19, so it’s vitally important that their services continue to be there for the people who rely on them.”
"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.”
As well as helping to raise awareness of the Survive and Thrive appeal, Emma also took part in QEF's fundraising challenge, ‘Reach the Peak - The Big Climb’. This event challenged people to complete the equivalent distance of one or all of The Three Peaks, by walking, running or climbing the ascent in stairs. Emma and several friends walked 13 miles through the beautiful Surrey countryside on 6th September, more than the equivalent distance of Ben Nevis, and raised over £1,400 to support QEF's appeal. You can still sponsor Emma's challenge here.
Your support really makes a difference to people of all ages
Our Bugzi loan scheme, provided by our subsidiary charity MERU, relies entirely on fundraised income to give children with complex mobility challenges the gift of independent mobility. Read Jude’s story of how he and his family are struggling as a result of missing out on a Bugzi before lockdown.