In my last update in late March I shared the difficult news that due to the extraordinarily challenging outlook, we were estimating that Sepsis Research FEAT was potentially facing a large financial shortfall.
Prior to COVID-19, Sepsis Research was on course to increase the level of charitable activities
again in 2020/21. However, between March and August, we have experienced a dramatic decrease in funding from our community, corporates, and events fundraising (typically 40% of our income).
We are currently midway through the summer months and we should have been in peak “events” mode. However, we do not anticipate mass participation events generating significant income for us, or indeed other organisations, for the remainder of the year.
We have, therefore, adapted our budgets and are focussing on the sustainability of the organisation. Prior to COVID-19, the charity was in a strategic growth phase and, while our ambition remains, we have realigned our expectations. To maintain our current levels of activity and commitments we need to raise £176,350 in 2020/21 (down from our planned £315,000).
To date we have secured £55,000 and are working exceptionally hard to ensure we can meet our financial commitments. I would like to thank our wonderful supporters who continue to amaze me in the unique ways they have found to raise funds during this pandemic.
On a more positive note, I am pleased to report that our charitable spend on vital sepsis research has been maintained and we have been able to award Dr Kenny Baillie and his team at the Roslin Institute two payments towards the GenOMICC project. This project has been identified by the National Institute for Health Research as an urgent public health COVID-19 study, with the added benefit of the DNA samples collected also being used for sepsis research. This has allowed us to collect over 3000 samples in a very short time (200 in 2019) potentially helping to find answers in more quickly through genes research.
Although the Scottish Government’s Sepsis Awareness Campaign, which was due to start in April, was postponed we are in discussions with the Government to reschedule it for March next year. Because of this, we will major on Sepsis Awareness Month in September and World Sepsis Day on the 13th September. We have launched our Sock It To Sepsis fundraising campaign and urge you to get involved. Details of the #sockittosepsis campaign can be found on our website here.
Despite the challenges we are facing, I see light at the end of the tunnel. We are still forecasting a deficit of around £40-50,000 between now and the end of the financial year and we face many uncertainties including the prospect of future lockdowns and major economic challenges.
The financial progress we have made so far, thanks to everyone’s collective efforts, is a reason to be cautiously optimistic.
We know the next 12 months will be very challenging so together we must persevere, as we have done over the past four months, because we need your help now more than ever and the journey to recovery is only beginning.
Please continue to support us in any way you can and help us meet our vision to Stop Sepsis Now.