A children’s hospice expecting to lose more than £500,000 in vital funding during the coronavirus pandemic is appealing for urgent help.

Haven House Children’s hospice has been forced to cancel its community fundraising activities and has closed its seven retail shops until further notice.

The Woodford Green-based hospice is reliant on donations and charity bosses have warned the Covid-19 outbreak could have a ‘devastating impact’ on the charity’s future.

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Haven House’s Chief Executive Mike Palfreman said: "These are challenging times where no one is immune from the effects of Coronavirus. Haven House now faces the possibility that hundreds of seriously ill children and families who depend on the care given by our front-line nurses will stop - threatening our very existence. Everyday children and families need our help but now more so than ever.

“Families tell us that we are their lifeline and we cannot let them face this alone. The impact that Coronavirus will have on our vulnerable children and families could be devastating. Haven House faces a serious crisis and we need the help of our community.”

As of March 24, Public Health England has confirmed more than 8,000 coronavirus cases across the UK, with Redbridge accounting for 58 of London’s 2,872 cases.

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Nationwide, strict restrictions are now in place to stop the spread of the deadly virus which has so far claimed 422 lives.

Public gatherings, events and ceremonies have been cancelled and shops and businesses have closed their doors.

The hospice has launched an emergency fund to help it keep supporting children and their families who need its specialist care.

Mr Palfreman says that the hospice is prioritising emergency care for life-limited children and is working with local hospitals and the NHS to increase their capacity to cope with the pandemic.

The hospice’s key workers and critical nurses are working tirelessly to respond to the demand of hospice services in an environment where access is limited.

He added: “We are enormously proud of our role in the community and our dedication to providing a homely, caring and safe environment for children living with serious and complex illnesses. We are determined that we continue to provide the same levels of personal, round-the-clock care, not only during the current crisis but long into the future.

“We call on you, our loyal community to help Haven House through this crisis. Any donation, however large or small will help us to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19 and help us through this incredibly difficult time and keep our hospice running.”

You can donate to Haven House’s emergency fund online.

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