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Charity making progress after ‘devastating’ impact of the pandemic

Martin House charity costs nearly £9million-a-year to run, with only 12 per cent of that total coming from statutory sources.

Martin House tells us: “We rely on fundraising and voluntary income for the majority of our costs. The impact of the pandemic has been devastating to our fundraising, as we, and many of our fundraisers, had to cancel events. We expect to lose £2.2million in voluntary income in this financial year as a result of Covid-19.”

Our Goole caught up with Clair Holdsworth from Martin House who won Contribution to the Community (Charity/Voluntary Sector) at this years Goole and Howdeshire Business Excellence Awards to find out a little more about the charity and what their plans are for the future.

When was the business set up?
Martin House opened in 1987, in Boston Spa, near Wetherby, with the addition of Whitby Lodge in 2002 as a specialist unit for teenagers and young people.

What services do you provide?
Martin House cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, from across West, North and East Yorkshire. Our services range from planned respite stays, emergency or symptom-control stays, end-of-life care and bereavement support for families. Our care team includes specialist doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other healthcare workers, as well as art and music therapy, bereavement support and a clinical psychologist. We provide care both at our hospice, in hospitals and in people’s own homes.

What makes you proud of your business?
The huge range of talent and skills of the staff, from the expertise of the care team, to the retail managers who run our charity shops – everyone who works at Martin House has a valuable contribution to make. On top of that, the time given to us by our volunteers, who help us in so many ways, and everyone across our region who supports us, from running marathons to holding bake sales or buying our Christmas cards. Without all of these people, Martin House couldn’t offer the specialist care to seriously ill children and young people.

Did you enjoy your night at the awards?
Our team had a wonderful night at the awards, it was lovely to meet so many people and businesses from our community, and be part of a celebration of their successes.

How did it feel to win Contribution to the Community (Charity/Voluntary Sector) of the year?
We were delighted to win this award. It recognises the hard work and dedication of every member of staff at Martin House, who all contribute to the excellent care we give to families from across our region.

What makes you stand out?
Our care is holistic, meaning we look at the whole child, and their family, and our aim is to ensure that every child and young person who needs palliative care can access it when and where they need it. We work with our colleagues in the NHS across our region, to provide joined up care for children and their families. We are also one of only three centres in the UK which trains consultants in paediatric palliative medicine, and we are actively involved in research to further the knowledge and understanding of children’s palliative care.

What are your plans for the upcoming year?
We had just submitted plans to extend the hospice when the pandemic hit. Obviously this has been put on hold for now, but in the next 12 months we are hoping to make progress with this major project, which will help us continue to provide the vital care and support families need.

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