Denmead charity Sam's Haven launches urgent campaign for funds due to risk of closure

A CHARITY offering respite holidays for sick children could be at risk of folding if the community does not show its support.

Friday, 15th May 2020, 4:45 pm

A fundraiser to save Sam’s Haven aims to raise £10,000 to secure the future of the charity which was set up to help children with a life threatening or terminal illness to enjoy time with family.

Sam’s Haven was started by a Denmead family in 2013, inspired by son Sam Merrick who has dealt with health issues his whole life, and it has seen scores of families enjoy a holiday in the charity’s caravan.

Fundraising to pay next year’s bills takes place mainly from March to August each year - but coronavirus restrictions have hit Sam’s Haven hard, with no funds coming in from events and businesses at this time.

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Sam Merrick, 11, was the inspiration for Sam's Haven, a charity set up by his family to help other ill children. Pictured in hospital being treated for a leg abscess in March 2020

Mum Louise said: ‘It’s had a huge knock-on effect. Even though we’re a charity, we still have to pay bills and the problem we have is we can’t get the funds to do that. It’s really hard to openly admit that.

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‘We’re only a small charity, we don’t have the safety net the bigger charities have. I don’t think people understand the effect on the smaller charities.’

With bills and fees still coming out each month, the charity needs to raise thousands to keep afloat, and has asked the community to donate as much or as little as they can.

Sam Merrick, 11, was the inspiration for Sam's Haven, a charity set up by his family to help other ill children. Pictured having his weekly SubCut medication which helps him improve his immune system

Louise, 39, said: ‘We just don’t have the funds for next season. We either need to get the support from the community around us or we will fold, we can’t physically do it on our own. If it wasn’t for Covid we would never be in this position.

‘The feedback we get from the families is so great, it would just be heartbreaking to fold.’

A boost of support from Queen Alexandra Hospital nurses raising £500 through a virtual bingo night has kick off the fundraising efforts in earnest.

‘We understand everyone’s in the same boat, we’re aware everyone’s struggling at the moment and we don’t want to add to anyone’s worries,’ added Louise.

‘I know the support is out there, we have seen that time and time again.’

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