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Reuben’s Retreat receives £98K grant as it gives virtual support and food packages to families

Reuben’s Retreat has received £98,700 to fund two of its staff at the charity for two years.

The grant from media and entertainment group Global’s official charity Make Some Noise was one of 32 hand-outs to small UK charities and projects and comes as the charity gives ‘virtual’ support to 143 families during the coronavirus pandemic.

The role of Harriet Pratt, children and young people’s champion at Reuben’s Retreat, is being funded by the grant while family champion Deborah Thebould-Ho’s role is being part-funded.

Reuben Retreat founder Nicola Graham said the funding came at a time when many of the families the charity helps were suffering higher than normal anxiety levels, with some having to isolate for 12 weeks.

The grant will fund two ‘pivotal and crucial roles’ at the charity, she said.

She said: “The generosity shown by the listeners to Global’s radio stations across the UK has just been phenomenal as well as the support shown by the presenters and all the teams behind the scenes.

“We couldn’t be more grateful. It will make a massive difference to Reuben’s Retreat and ultimately the young people and children that we support on a daily basis.”

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the charity has sent out 70 ‘happy packages’ of food, games and activities to do at home to families currently self-isolating.

She added: “There are families who are currently on a 12 week isolation programme and this support helps them feel less afraid and gives them the vital support they need right now in what is a very trying time. A common cold alone can be really frightening for these families, so what is happening right now is really tough for them.

“For our families that have been living in isolation for the last one or two years, dealing with grief, this environment really raises anxiety levels making it extremely difficult to cope. Situations like these highlight how vital the roles both Harriet and Deborah play within the charity as we look to provide as much care and support as we can.”

Pratt agreed: “There are so many people who need our support; children with life-limiting or terminal illnesses and also their siblings.

“The work we do with them is crucial for their wellbeing and therefore the Global’s Make Some Noise grant will hugely impact the work we are doing and the support we can continue to provide. It’s truly an honour to be directly involved in how these monies will benefit so many.”

The charity, which is heavily supported by the travel industry, was founded in August 2012 following the death of 23-month-old Reuben Graham and supports bereaved families and those with children with life-limiting or terminal conditions.

The charity, based in Glossop in Derbyshire, is renovating its premises, a former hospital, and has almost completed a hydrotherapy pool, sensory and movie room and messy play room.

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