Dame Vera Lynn calls for people to support smaller charities

Dame Vera Lynn has called on people to support smaller charities during the coronavirus outbreak after revealing that her own organisation is struggling.

An emergency fundraising appeal has been launched by the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity to help ensure it can continue to provide its services during the pandemic.

The charity, which helps children with cerebral palsy and other motor learning conditions, has had to temporarily close its centre in Cuckfield, West Sussex.

Captain Tom Moore
Dame Vera praised Captain Tom’s fundraising efforts (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Forces’ Sweetheart, who performed to British troops during the Second World War, said she has been “so inspired” by the charitable work of Captain Tom Moore during the pandemic.

The war veteran has raised more than £29 million for the NHS.

Dame Vera said: “These are very difficult times for everyone, whether it be personally, professionally or financially and small charities are no exception.

“If at all possible, I ask people to follow the wonderful example of Captain Moore and support smaller charities like my own that are not on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis but still provide vital services to vulnerable people across the country.”

Dame Vera Lynn
Dame Vera Lynn (Zak Hussein/PA)

While the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity’s centre remains closed the organisation is continuing to give support to families via video calls, as well as providing advice and activities for keeping children active, according to their chairman Deborah Hay.

She added: “Much of our work is to help them build motor control, so it is important we maintain that progress.

“Unfortunately, we are facing a financial crisis even as we try to maintain a vital lifeline to the families we help.”

She said that the charity does not receive statutory funding and is not eligible for Government schemes to help businesses.

Dame Vera added that while we are living in “challenging times” the “community spirit and generosity on display across the United Kingdom gives me real hope that the future is bright.”

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