Charity for sick children championed by Prince Harry thanks Mail Force for donating desperately needed PPE
- WellChild will pass PPE onto families whose lives have been thrown into chaos
- Some of the children require round the clock care, leaving parents exhausted
- MailForce has replenished stocks at the charity with a delivery of 28,000 masks
A charity for sick children championed by Prince Harry yesterday thanked Mail Force for donating desperately-needed face masks.
WellChild will pass the personal protective equipment on to families whose lives have been plunged into chaos by the Covid-19 crisis.
For them, lockdown was not just an inconvenience but a disaster.
Many were reliant on carers coming into their homes to help with the round-the-clock, complex medical care that their disabled children need.
But overnight, carers stopped coming over fears of passing the virus to the vulnerable youngsters or catching it themselves.
WellChild, charity for sick children championed by Prince Harry, yesterday thanked Mail Force for donating desperately-needed face masks
Thankful: The Mail Force van delivers masks to WellChild
WellChild will pass the personal protective equipment on to families whose lives have been plunged into chaos by the Covid-19 crisis. Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the WellChild Awards 2019
Some of the more severely affected children require 24-hour help and this has left their parents exhausted after three months of lockdown.
Yesterday the Mail Force charity delivered boxes of surgical masks to WellChild, whose patron is the Duke of Sussex.
Mail Force was set up by this newspaper and our partners to deliver PPE to those fighting the war against the virus.
During the pandemic, Harry has been speaking to charity staff and parents with sick children via video calls.
Tara Parker, director of programmes at WellChild, said: ‘He always remembers the children he meets or speaks to, even if it was ages ago.’
At the charity’s awards ceremony last year, the prince told the audience: ‘Speaking to all of you pulls at my heart strings in a way I could have never understood until I had a child of my own.’
Mask supply ‘will help us get our lives back’
Normality: Chloe Harris, 13, and her mother Sally
For Chloe Harris and her family, a supply of Mail Force PPE masks means they can start getting back to normal.
The 13-year-old has a rare genetic disorder called nonketotic hyperglycinemia.
Her parents have to monitor Chloe constantly as she cannot swallow or clear a cough herself and she can have up to 30 seizures a day.
She is also prone to colds and if she caught Covid, it would be ‘devastating’, said her mother Sally.
Before Covid, carers used to provide Mrs Harris and her husband a break. But they have been looking after her constantly since March.
Now, thanks to WellChild and Mail Force, respite is in sight.
Mrs Harris said: ‘We are very grateful. I don’t know what we would have done without this PPE. It will help us get our lives back.’
WellChild’s mission is to help ill children thrive by supporting them in their family homes, often with the help of carers.
But Mrs Parker said when coronavirus struck, there was a ‘real panic’ among parents as they were concerned that carers ‘might unwittingly bring the virus into a house’.
HERE’S HOW TO DONATE
Mail Force Charity has been launched with one aim to help support NHS staff, volunteers and care workers fight back against Covid-1 in the UK.
Mail Force is a separate charity established and supported by the Daily Mail and General Trust.
The money raised will fund essential equipment required by the NHS and care workers.
This equipment is vital in protecting the heroic staff whilst they perform their fantastic work in helping the UK overcome this pandemic.
If we raise more money than is needed for vital Covid-1 equipment, we will apply all funds to support the work of the NHS in other ways.
Click the button below to make a donation:
If the button is not visible, click here
Mrs Parker, a former head of nursing at St George’s Hospital in south London, has a severely disabled daughter of her own and said: ‘There was no way we could turn our back on these people. I knew the problems these families had.’
In just ten days the charity set up a nationwide emergency PPE service, begging and persuading in order to build supplies.
WellChild has lost 60 per cent of its income this year and they have furloughed staff, according to the director of communications Matt James.
But he said they have now had a sudden surge in demand for help, adding: ‘There are two options – either shut up shop and say “see you on the other side”, or meet the crisis head on.
‘Our mission is to give sick children the chance to thrive and nothing changed that. So we just adapted – fast.’
So far WellChild has helped over a thousand families by sending more than 145,000 items of PPE.
And now Mail Force has replenished stocks with 28,000 masks. It was part of an airlift of four million masks earlier this week – three million of which have been handed to the NHS.
Overall, two billion items of PPE have been delivered to the NHS and care homes by the Government since the start of the pandemic. And a further 28billion items have been ordered.
Mr James said without the ability to let carers back into their homes, many parents will reach ‘breaking point’.
But he added: ‘Thanks to Mail Force, we can really help get things moving again.’