The charity is calling on the Wiltshire community to help raise the £1.5m it needs for its lifeline care services.
The charity does not receive government funding in Wiltshire and says it relies entirely on public funding to keep its vital service running.
The Together We Care Appeal aims to raise awareness of the charity’s essential work with children who have life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and their families across the county, supporting them at home, out and about in the community and at the charity’s hospice in Devizes.
Mike Bartlett, Deputy Chief Executive for Julia’s House, said: “We’re so grateful to our supporters for their generous donations and fundraising efforts over the last few years, particularly the last challenging 18 months. But with an increasing demand for our services, we need more ongoing support to maintain our vital service in Wiltshire.
"We are currently raising £1m less in Wiltshire than we need each year to fund the care that local families depend on, and we can’t rely on legacy donations as they are so unpredictable year to year.”
Julia's House says caring for a child with complex needs can be isolating, scary and exhausting, taking a toll on families’ mental as well as physical health. Without the charity's services, it says many of the families that the charity cares for would not get the respite breaks they so desperately need.
The free and expert clinical care that the Julia’s House nurses and carers provides helps to prevent parents from reaching breaking point and get a chance to rest and recharge, knowing their child is safe.
Mike added: “We help the children and families make the most of their precious time together and support them through the tough times too.
"During hospital stays and when a child passes away, our nurses and carers continue to be by their side. The families we support often call us their ‘lifeline’ and we want to ensure we continue to be that lifeline, now and in the future.”
Within a University of York study, it is estimated that the number of babies, children and young people living with life-limiting conditions has almost trebled in England over the past two decades. And due to continuing medical and scientific advances, children in Wiltshire are living for longer with more complex care needs.
Julia's House Director of Care, Clair Hudson Cooper said: “There is a growing demand for the specialist care we provide in Wiltshire. We want to be there for every local seriously ill child and family that needs us. But we need everyone’s help in Wiltshire to do that.
"We really hope our Together We Care Appeal will help raise awareness of the vital work of the Julia’s House nurses and carers and how important local support is to the families we care for. In Wiltshire we're 100% funded by our supporters, so we can only provide care if we care together.”
To help reach the Together We Care Appeal target of £1.5m by next Christmas, the charity is encouraging local people, businesses, organisations and community groups to show their support in any way they can. From donations and fundraising, to joining in with events and volunteering.
Mike said: “We know times are still challenging for many of us, but we need to ensure we continue to be there to support the most vulnerable children and families in our local community.”
Next weekend (September 25 - 26), the charity is also inviting people to come and show they care by having their photograph taken for a We Care Bear selfie sculpture in different locations in Wiltshire.
Members of the public will be able to visit the Julia’s House tent to see the giant bear, blow bubbles and more, from 10am - 4pm at:
- The Brittox, Devizes on Friday 24 September
- Market Place, Salisbury on Saturday 25 September
- High Street, Chippenham on Sunday 26 September.
The final photo sculpture will feature in different locations across Wiltshire and the Julia’s House Devizes hospice garden later this year.
More information about the Together We Care Appeal and Julia's House can be found at www.juliashouse.org/together-we-care