The Albion As One fund has now raised more than £370,000 for local good causes, part of which has been shared among hospices and charities which support people with life-limiting or terminal illnesses.
One such donation went to the Friends of Sussex Hospices, a charity run completely by volunteers which raises awareness and vital funds for adult and children’s hospice care providers here in Sussex.
Among the local hospices supported by the Friends of Sussex Hospices are The Sussex Beacon, Demelza Hospice Care for Children, St Catherine's, St Wilfrid’s, St Barnabas House, and Hospice in the Weald.
Kathy Gore, chair of Friends of Sussex Hospices, was clear how much the Albion As One fund would help. She said, “This very generous donation is appreciated more than ever right now as our hospices face such heavy losses of income.
“Although hospices are grateful for the recent cash injection received from Government, this will not cover their losses and they will have to draw on reserves to continue delivering vital care to patients and their families. This donation will go towards their running costs in these very challenging times.”
Two of the charities supported by the Friends of Sussex Hospices – Martlets and Chestnut Tree House – have also received donations direct from the Albion As One fund.
Martlets provides terminally ill people in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding area with vital care and support – including many people who receive that precious care in their own homes as well as others who benefit from the in-patient unit.
Emma Knight, Martlets’ head of partnership and philanthropy, explained how the donation would help. She said, “From the moment lockdown began, our clinical team on the hospice in-patient unit (IPU) have had to make significant changes to the way they work while delivering the very best care to people with terminal illness.
“This donation will go directly to the costs associated with patients receiving care on the IPU. Beyond the IPU we have been supporting covid-positive patients in their homes and we have seen many more calls to our 24hr helpline.
“We have had to invest in laptops and phones to increase capacity here too and as lockdown eases the way we work will continue to look different and present new challenges for some time.
“For the sake of patients and families in and around the city, we work hard to overcome these challenges and keep caring. Your support – the fans and players creating Albion As One – is making this happen. On behalf of everyone who will benefit, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Children’s charity Chestnut Tree House was equally grateful for the support.
The charity provides hospice care and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions and, like many other charities, faced a significant drop in fundraising income because of the pandemic.
Chestnut Tree House’s Alison Taylor explained, “When the coronavirus crisis struck, our monthly fundraising income plummeted by 70% due to events being cancelled and the closure of our shops. Without the support of our local community, children’s hospice care simply wouldn’t be possible.
“Unfortunately, due to the current situation, so much of the daily noise and energy at Chestnut Tree House – the splashing in the pool, laughter in the woodland walk – isn’t present at the moment. But that isn’t stopping our care team from being there for families who need them now more than ever.
“The Community Nursing Team is still visiting children at home, providing care in PPE, giving families the chance to take a well-earned break, and simply making isolated families feel less alone
"And when the time comes, we are still there to help families say goodbye, in whatever way feels right for them, either at home or in the hospice itself. We offer ongoing bereavement support for the whole family.
“On behalf of Chestnut Tree House, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to the players at Brighton & Hove Albion FC and everyone else involved in the Albion As One fund.
“The money will make such a difference to local children and families across Sussex, ensuring that we can continue to provide our care services in the months ahead.”