This year has been extremely tough for everyone affected by Crohn’s and Colitis. Life has changed dramatically and we know first-hand the impact this had had on you, our Crohn’s & Colitis UK community.
We’ve needed to be there for you, more than ever, but like other charities across the UK, we have been unable to avoid the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
We took some tough early actions to cut costs. We adapted our plans, halted some activity, saw events cancelled, and changed campaigning work. But we’ve kept important activities going and we’ve been here for people with Crohn’s and Colitis through our helpline and information services, providing vital information on coronavirus and risk levels. We’ve been making your voices heard through submissions and letters to the Government to ensure your needs are met by the NHS and we’ve been raising awareness of why we desperately need to see public toilets open.
We’ve tried new things in the hope that we can give you information, comfort and support– such as Facebook Live Q&As, yoga sessions and fitness classes, and new virtual events.
And we couldn’t have done this without your help. Your response has been magnificent and your incredible generosity has helped us continue with our work – we can’t thank you enough.
The charity’s Trustees have now approved a plan for how we reduce our ongoing costs and to get us in good shape to take advantage of an improving situation when it happens – rebuilding the charity over time to deliver more for you. To help cut costs, we have had to take the very tough decision to reduce the number of people working for the charity. Throughout these difficult times our staff has continued to live its values – compassionate, ambitious and stronger together and of course our community remains the focus for everything we do. It will mean that we will reduce a few areas of work for a period while we focus on the things you need most right now. We are committed to working harder than ever on your behalf and we look forward to rebuilding the charity and being there for you for years to come.
While the future beyond coronavirus is uncertain, we are determined and will not give up. We will share our plans, activities, wins and challenges with you and continue to strive for our vision for Improved Lives Today, a World free of Crohn’s and Colitis tomorrow.
I would like to end with a final ask. I know times are hard but when our community come together, we are powerful. If you can, please make a donation, become a member, sign up to a direct debit or take on a fundraising challenge. And if you can’t help out financially right now – you can still help. Write to your MP about opening toilets, share our news and graphics on social media or spread the word and tell someone new about Crohn’s and Colitis.
Sarah Sleet, CEO at Crohn’s & Colitis UK