As the lockdown begins to slowly lift, a Cornish charity which provides therapy services for people with long-term health conditions is planning for a phased re-opening, but it needs the help of the local community to ensure it can continue its work.
The Merlin MS Centre, which temporarily closed in mid-March following Public Health England and Government advice, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to appeal for funds.
Income generation manager, Sarah Snell, said: “Although the centre is closed, we have continued to provide an important service through daily contact, remote exercise programmes, advocacy and signposting to other support services.
“Many of our service users have complex health needs and have struggled without the centre being open. The work we have been doing during the closure is a great support, but some services such as oxygen therapy or using our adapted gym equipment cannot be provided remotely.”
Unfortunately, the charity’s normal income sources have been hit hard by the virus – it cannot raise funds from its onsite café; retail area, hiring clinical and conference facilities while the centre is closed nor can it do events in the community.
To re-open safely and in a phased way, the charity is seeking donations to support the additional costs of opening and adhering to social distancing rules.
Snell added: “Many charities like ours provide vital services and reduce the burden on the NHS and Social Care, but they may not survive the financial impact of the pandemic without donations from their communities.
“Not surprisingly, many people have supported the NHS at this challenging time, but we hope people’s generosity can also be extended to those charities which play an important role in supporting vulnerable people. Unfortunately, we receive no Government funding and are struggling.”
For details on how to support the crowdfunding campaign, click here. Donations can also be made to Merlin MS Centre BACS sort code: 40-16-06 account: 41408046.