A CHARITY which helps dozens of terminally-ill children and their families across Swindon and Wiltshire has raised more than £33,000 in a match-funding campaign.

Children’s hospice at home charity Jessie May took part in the week-long Big Give Christmas Challenge and aimed to raise £23,100.

They smashed their target in five hours and can now afford to welcome 15 more children to their services.

During the campaign week, supporters had the opportunity to have their donation doubled through the Big Give, as they were matched pound-for-pound by the charity’s pledgers.

Chris Roys, CEO at Jessie May, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with this fantastic outcome. It was quite a shock to reach our £23,100 target so quickly and to then continue to receive donations in support of our nurses’ vital work.

“This level of funding will make a huge difference to our charity; enabling us to welcome additional children and families on to our caseload, and ensuring we can continue to provide our services to those our nurses are already supporting through respite care, emotional support, end of life care and bereavement support.

“As a charity, we rely heavily on voluntarily funding, so it has been astounding to see so many different supporters get involved with our Christmas Challenge; passionately rallying for donations and generously donating themselves. It’s amazing to see our supporters work together to rally support for Jessie May, and achieve so much, in so little time."

“We’re hugely grateful to everyone who’s supported Jessie May; from our Big Give ‘Pledgers’ who pledged to support us months ago – to our donors who donated during the week. Thanks also to Candis Magazine, our ‘Champion Pledger’, and to the Jessie May families who helped to spread the word of our match-funding mission. And finally, we’d like to express our thanks to all our anonymous donors! As we cannot reach out to thank these anonymous individuals, we truly hope they are aware of our tremendous gratitude.”