Pendleside Hospice rises to lockdown challenge but remains desperate for funding
Pendleside Hospice is battling further falls in fundraising just as Covid-19 lockdown sees demands for services increase.
The extra eight beds, which almost doubled the size of the inpatients unit back in springtime, are now almost fully operational again as the hospice eases the pressure on NHS beds.
And Pendleside’s Hospice At Home service, which previously cared for between 70 and 80 patients a week, is now looking after 100.
But the hospice’s revenue streams have again been badly affected. Its 10 shops and new furniture store have all had to close at what would normally be the busiest period of the year causing a loss in one month of at least £50,000.
Major fundraising events on the lead up to Christmas have all had to be either cancelled or become virtual events.
Chief executive Helen McVey said: “Despite huge falls in our funding the demands on our services continue to increase. Last week our inpatients unit was full with nine patients awaiting admission.
“Our nursing resources presently allow us to fill 15 beds which is our maximum at the moment. This time last year it was 10. And our hospice at home service has increased by about 20%.
“Also, we are continuing to care for more people within our family support service which we have had to revert to being virtual as a result of the lockdown. It has become particularly busy as we are supporting people affected by isolation as well as bereavement and people with life-limiting illness.”
Helen added: “I can only call on people to once again get behind our ‘Keep Our Hospice Open’ campaign by raising money any way they can however little or large.
“All of the time we are re-evaluating the situation and keeping our services relevant to what is going on around us. We are continually trying to reach out and serve the needs of our community.”
Pendleside has again had to furlough fundraising and retail staff during November.
Its biggest fundraiser the Light Up A Life Christmas service which normally attracts around 1,000 people to the hospice has been rearranged as a virtual service which will be streamed live on Facebook and the Santa Dash is a new virtual format.
Meanwhile, the fire walk has been postponed until early next year.
The hospice has responded by organising another end of the month ‘pub quiz’ on Facebook hosted by hospice ambassador and Radio 1 DJ Jordan North providing his commitment to taking part in the latest ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’ series in a Wales doesn’t clash.