Helen Rollason Cancer Charity – CVID-19 Urgent Appeal
Message from Helen Rollason Cancer Charity CEO Kate Alden.
As I'm sure you can imagine, the situation here at the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity is changing every moment. We are doing our best to keep our clients up to date with the services we can provide and our valued supporters, including those who have booked onto our wide array of events, up to date with amended arrangements.
During this time of Covid-19 crisis, cancer is still impacting the lives of countless individuals. We are battling to keep our services running despite most of our income streams slowing or drying up completely.
Therefore I am asking you, our fantastic supporters to help us get through these unprecedented times. We have launched a new online fundraising campaign which you can find by visiting here; https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/covid-19-helpHRCC Alternatively you can call me on my mobile and donate over the phone; 07730 209442.
In the past few days we have adapted our methods to bring them in line with the social distancing Government guidelines by making counselling sessions available via telephone calls or online video calling. Our therapists have been reaching out to isolated clients unable to leave their homes to attend their regular appointments.
This Thursday evening, 26th March at 8.00pm, there will be a 30 minute online Guided Relaxation session being streamed live via the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Facebook page. Our fantastic volunteer, Maia, who facilitates our Craft Therapy Group is sharing craft ideas to do at home, again via Facebook. These will be hugely beneficial to our clients but can be shared with friends and family too. We are also planning to set up online yoga and Pilates sessions in addition to signposting to other online advice and virtual support groups.
We are determined to continue our work in helping these individuals and we can only do so with the help of voluntary donations. Our income for the next 12 weeks is budgeted at £160,000 yet we receive no NHS or Government funding. Community fundraising events are being cancelled and our flagship events are being postponed.
Of course Covid-19 is at the forefront of all of our minds, but even once it has calmed down, cancer will still be there. On average 1,000 people in the UK will face a cancer diagnosis every day and 450 others will die. Please help us support them, both now during this time of unrest, and in the months and years to come.
Thank you for your generosity during this worrying time. We hope you and your family are safe and well.
Kate Alden
CEO Helen Rollason Cancer Charity
  What's a chatty Chihuahua like me to do now? Visitors cannot come in to see our animals and we cannot hold any fundraising events - my two main subjects of conversation gone. Fortunately our volunteers are always coming up with interesting ideas, like Sharon, a professional seamstress who is sewing washable, pleated face masks in triple layered dense cotton. Jayne is busy knitting 'Rainbow of Hope' car hangings and both items are selling well. The ladies suggest a minimum donation of £2 per item. If interested please phone Jayne on 07720 079370 to place an order.
We may only be a small local charity but we have homed many animals over the past twenty seven years and although life has changed beyond belief, we are still here to help or advise regarding any animal in need. Our hard working ladies and gentlemen exercise and care for the animals every day, with maybe a few extra cuddles. Thank you to all the shops that host our food collection bins or donate food and vegetables from their own stock. More than ever, we are grateful to them and the Public for their continued support. Given a choice, we would ask for kitten food because it is that time of the year again!
We dogs are glad of the lovely weather as we accompany Mum around the garden on her evening rounds and then it's bedtime for all the animals including me, Kenny (the Boss) Chihuahua. Suffolk & Essex Small Animal Welfare, Reg. Charity No.1124029, Stoke Road, Leavenheath, CO6 4PP. Tel: 01787 210888, www.sesaw.co.uk

Colchester Zoo Director thanks supporters for their kindness & generosity

St. Andrew's Church, Earls Colne, Lunchtime Recitals 2020
  Managing Director, Dr DA Tropeano OBE, has written a letter of thanks to all the supporters of Colchester Zoo for their kindness & generosity during the Zoo’s closure. The letter reads;
We have just enjoyed some of the sunniest April weather in living memory, a very sad time to be closed, particularly missing the usually excellent busy Easter holiday.
On the positive side, we have no reports of any of our staff being infected, therefore grateful the measures in place have worked and we can get on with our business of keeping the zoo going.
Whilst we had the glorious sunshine the zoo looked lovely this spring, when the weather is warm, the animals are energetic and keen with lots of lovely babies to excite us all.
Sadly, we seem to be spending our day in a ghost town or more appropriately a ghost zoo, this is really odd.
Many of us, performing our daily duties, still find it very strange and have difficulty in coming to terms with this isolation and the lack of life we are experiencing. However, everyday all staff turn up for work early in the morning to carry out almost the same routine as it has always been.
This is a great bunch of people turning up with energy and dedication to carry out those daily tasks with a great smile on their face.
We have been overwhelmed by the generosity, by the support and help so many people have given us since closing down because of COVID-19.
This is a spirit we have never previously experienced, the kindness is really overwhelming to the point where it has left us almost speechless and, in some cases, even emotional.
We have saved no life, we have not put our life on the line like nurses or doctors so we certainly are no hero, all we do is look after our animals which is our job. Therefore, to have received so much praise, to have received money from so many people including children giving up their precious savings, to people who bring fresh fruit and vegetables, is simply amazing.
People have walked, people have run, people have done all sorts of unimaginable efforts to do their bit to demonstrate the support they have for the zoo.
To say we are grateful and emotional over this enormous sense of affection and care towards the zoo by so many people is simply overwhelming.
So, on behalf of all the staff and all the animals here at the zoo we want to say a huge thank you to all of you for your help, for all your kind words and your generosity.
We know in these difficult times so many organisations need help and the fact you have decided to help us means a lot to us, the animals and our survival.
Let me also say that no one here connected with the zoo will ever forget this, what you have done for us because of the love of your zoo, thank you for this affection, thank you for this generosity.
Perhaps we need to make sure you know why we are in the situation we are in, just like so many others within the hospitality and leisure industry who are fighting for their survival.
After a long winter, when expenditure is high and income low, we always rely on Easter to bring crowds and income to top up our accounts and keep us going. Easter has been and gone, we will also miss May Bank Holiday and will probably miss half term at the end of May which will have a massive financial impact for the future.
We know every business is suffering from financial constraints but animal-based organisations have extra responsibility that even when closed the running costs are high and we must supply and maintain normal services and duties.
We have always ensured we keep our spending in line with our income, so this loss means any capital project will be shelved, probably for a long time, and our efforts must concentrate on ensuring we are able to get through this winter, whilst hoping some sort of normality will return in 2021 so people can taste again a normal life.
COVID-19 has been something exceptional and has made us sit back and perhaps re-consider what was our normal way of life and we can wonder what will be our new normal life.
  2020 sees our Lunchtime Recitals entering their fifth year and we have a very exciting programme to offer.
We will see the return of the ever popular Lizzie Gutteridge and Aurora Voices who also sang for us just before Christmas. We will be welcoming some new performers too. Kim Peek a ballad singer, the Sokolowski Trio and Malcolm Ball playing the Ondes Marenot.
Thursday 11th June - Kim Peek solo singer accompanied by Edward Preston on piano
Thursday 9th July - Aurora Voices
Thursday 13th August - Sokolowski Trio
Thursday 10th September - Malcolm Ball playing Ondes Martenot accompanied by Peter Humphrey on piano.
Recitals are free (retiring collection) and commence at 1pm. Refreshments available from 12.30pm

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