The UK’s leading charity for disabled and terminally ill children, Newlife, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, with a plea for an emergency grant for their vital services after being excluded from getting a slice of the government’s funding allocated to supporting charities through the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite all of their stores currently being closed, they are continuing to operate their vital services to families with disabilities and terminally ill children throughout the UK who are most at risk of the effects of Covid-19.

This includes the UK’s only emergency equipment loan service which provides vital specialist equipment to families in crisis within 72 hours, often enabling children to be discharged from hospital to self-isolate in safety at home, equipment grants and the nurse-led support service.

Based in Cannock, in Staffordshire, they recently announced that they ran out of emergency loan beds and without urgent support the service will grind to a halt.

They are appealing for the government’s support, and say they need it now.

Because there is a statutory duty to provide the equipment, as the UK’s largest funder of the equipment for disabled children, Newlife have also highlighted that they are also unable to apply to Children In Need, or Comic Relief, or other aids mentioned by the Chancellor, for funding.

But, they say, in reality, families turn to Newlife every day in desperation because of delays and cuts to statutory services, whether that be because of red tape or poor planning.

Without Newlife, children, they say, risk being left living in crisis, or even stranded on hospital wards when they could be shielded from coronavirus at home.

Newlife is their lifeline.