A CHARITY set up to provide treats for children and young people with life limiting illnesses is struggling with high demand for its services, its founder has said.
Maria Hanson, of Ticknall, who set up Me & Dee seven years ago in memory of her cousin Delia, sadly says she cannot sustain the charity as it is any longer and will instead provide caravan holidays by referral, instead of personal nominations and cannot provide treats.
She said: “I can’t sustain Me & Dee. I can’t get consistent volunteer help and I can’t pay staff.
“I’ve cancelled four events this year, only raised a third of what I could have at the bag pack and lost a lot of money at the fashion show. The annual ball was down by 72 people.
“I have more than 500 emails and dozens of calls as the demand to Me & Dee is massive and I can no longer do the personal nominations.”
The charity now sends out around 3,000 items in the Comfort Packs a month which include toiletries and other emergency items for children and their parents who find themselves in hospital following a diagnosis.
Ms Hanson added: “I have built something so big and so wanted by hospitals and hospices and dozens and dozens of families who don’t fit criterias, who have to fill in reams of paperwork, who have been rejected by big charities and I have to turn down so many every month and work every second of day and night - and so it all has to change and it is good.
“The caravan is so wonderful but I also sort of rage at the sky that I have almost killed myself to build something which can no longer stay as it was and must become something much more simple to run which needs less funds to do so. Even at this I will need £20,000 a year to raise.”
The finance issue is coupled with Ms Hanson’s health which has left her with complex disabilities and neurological problems, but she remains upbeat saying: “I just have to come to terms with the change and the fact that I can’t get enough interest or big money in. Local companies have been great.”
Me & Dee’s Fantasy Ball is taking place on Saturday March 15 at Derby Conference Centre and further information is available by visiting Facebook and searching for Me & Dee children’s fantasy ball.