Grant Awarded to Cherry Trees Shores up Funding for Increased Care Costs Cherry Trees is delighted to announce today, news in of a grant worth £25,000 awarded by the Surrey Community Coronavirus Response Fund. The grant will primarily cover staff care costs, which have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as more families looked to access support services during the day-time. With lockdown closing many schools, daytime visits for children with complex disabilities have been running at Cherry Trees for several months now. Enquiries from families early on in the pandemic meant we adapted not only how we could safely run respite visits, but when. Identifying a need to support families during the day has meant we have cared for children with visits starting earlier than the normal tea-time visits we typically host once the school day ends. Daytime visits, coupled with overnight and extended stays have continued at this time, with nearly 16,000 hours of care given from the first day of lockdown, until the end of July 2020. This is a huge achievement but one with new costings born out of the pandemic, mitigated by the response fund and other new fundraising efforts. At a time when income has reduced but costs have increased, a significant grant from the Surrey Community Coronavirus Fund is greatly welcomed ensuring we can adapt to the changes presented by COVID-19, innovating the ways we respond to our families needs so they can all cope at this time. Sarah Pritchard, Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser was pleased when the news was announced about the grant; "We have done everything possible since the pandemic began, to support the well-being of our extended Cherry Trees family which includes the children who stay with us, their families, our staff and volunteers. The grants that we have received from The Community Foundation of Surrey has allowed us to continue to provide a high quality service of short break respite care to our children and their families. We have remained open every single day during the pandemic due to robust policy, being the only commissioned provider in Surrey to have done so. Our experience is being used by other providers and our efforts have been praised by our largest local authority. Big thanks for the grant!" Cherry Trees has remained open at all times throughout the pandemic and will continue to be open, caring for as many children as possible while maintaining appropriate health and safety measures for all children, families and staff members. Emergency funding is crucial in helping us achieve this, supporting some of the most vulnerable families in society, not just this year but into the future. On awarding our grant Laura Thurlow – Chief Executive, Community Foundation for Surrey said; "the Community Foundation is pleased to have awarded £25,000 from our Surrey Coronavirus Response Fund to support Cherry Trees to continue providing invaluable services to local children with disabilities and their families at this time. We know that charities supporting people with disabilities have faced challenges in adapting their services to meet the often complex needs of their service users during the pandemic. To date, we have distributed over £1.4 million to local organisations across the county, thanks to the generosity of our local donors that have come together to make a real and lasting difference across our communities.” The Community Foundation for Surrey has been running for 15 years, with the Response Fund set up to respond to and aid the financial struggle for organisations in the current times. For more information head to their page HERE. Our thanks go to all those directly running the Surrey Community Coronavirus Response Fund and donors from across the county who have made funding possible, ensuring charity's like ours benefit. Thanks to support from our community we can keep going at this time, providing hours of safe care, fun and friendship to the young people that come into Cherry Trees.