Children's charity launches emergency appeal to make up for pandemic losses

A sign above a break charity shop
Break have shops across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Credit: ITV Anglia

The charity Break has announced an emergency appeal to make up the £2.1 million lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

Most fundraising events and all of the charity's shops in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have been forced to close during the lockdowns of the past 12 months.

Break support children and young people in care, as well as care leavers; they run several children's homes and also have other support schemes such as skills workshops.

Rachel Cowdry, the CEO at Break, said "we really need support now so that we can continue with the vital services we offer".

She added: "For many people we support, it is the first time anyone has put them first and we aim to create and become like a loving extended family to them, being there for them and making sure they know they are not alone.

"Now, we really need people to be there for Break, to make a donation so that we can continue our services and be there for as many young people as possible.

"Government grants and schemes like furlough have helped us survive the past year, but we now need people to donate and help us."

The charity's shops were closed throughout the lockdowns Credit: ITV Anglia

Ms Cowdry said the pandemic had been especially challenging for the children they support.

"The year has been incredibly intense for our team and the young people we support, dealing with home schooling, increased feelings of isolation and not being able to provide opportunities for those ready for the workplace or next step," she said.

She praised the charity's staff and volunteers for adapting a lot of their activities for online use.

Break's shops have now reopened, and fundraising events will also be allowed to resume as lockdown is eased.

This summer will see cow and t-rex trails in Cambridge and Norwich respectively, with the decorated sculptures auctioned off to raise money for Break.