A charity that cares for some of the most vulnerable children in South Yorkshire and beyond is sending out a message of solidarity to the communities it serves, asking only for a pledge of support when the time is right.

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, which stands to lose millions of pounds in fundraising income as the Coronavirus crisis continues, has launched its #LetsPledge campaign, recognising that many will struggle to support local charities amid such uncertainty.

Rather than ask for donations, the charity is asking people to pledge an offer of support, when the time is right for them. 

In return for these pledges, Bluebell Wood is pledging to offer whatever help it can in return, including supporting our NHS through the crisis and continuing to care for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our communities. 

Sam Wood, Head of Fundraising at Bluebell Wood, said: “I’m incredibly proud that we’re doing all we can to support local families who need our help more than ever.

“This comes at a significant cost, and our ability to fundraise for our lifeline work has been hit dramatically by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“However, we recognise that so many of us are struggling right now and facing a very uncertain future. That’s why we want to make it clear that we don’t want our wonderful supporters to give what they cannot afford.

“Instead we’re asking our supporters simply for a pledge of support, something that can be undertaken when they feel comfortable enough to do so.

“From running a marathon in your back garden or gathering donations for when our shops reopen to leaping out of a plane or scaling a mountain further down the line, any pledges, no matter how big or small, will make a huge difference.

“At Bluebell Wood we’ll be the light at the end of the tunnel for so many families – but we’ll need your help to do it.”

One family who can’t wait to get back to their home away from home at Bluebell Wood is Jacob White’s.

Eight-year-old Jacob has gone through more in his short life than most of us do in a lifetime, including heart problems, chronic lung disease and suffering a massive bleed on his brain at birth.

The tenacious and cheeky youngster has consistently defied doctors’ expectations, and hopes to be running rings around the care team at Bluebell Wood as soon as possible.

“We’re now in our fourth week in total lockdown – we’ve really not been anywhere at all,” said mum Kerry, from Maltby, who's backing the campaign.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep him safe, and we’ll keep doing it for as long as it takes.

“For obvious reasons I’ve been really worried about him, but we’re starting to feel a bit more comfortable about the situation now. We know it will come to an end at some point, and we’re very much looking forward to visiting Bluebell Wood to visit everyone when it’s safe to do so.

“He loves it and is so happy there, and we love being there together as a family too.

“Something as simple as taking a walk around the gardens while Jacob plays seems like a dream right now, but I know we’ll get there.”

Click here to find out how you can join LetsPledge to help families like Jacob's