Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity is launching a crisis appeal to help bridge a £1m shortfall in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is calling on Buckinghamshire residents to show the spirit of 31 years ago, when they raised the money to build the Hospice in the grounds of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
The Charity needs to raise £2,740 each day to run services at the Hospice, but at the moment are raising less than a third of that, due to the enforced closure of their shops and cancellation of fundraising events.
The Charity has also been excluded from the Government’s coronavirus relief funding for hospices, due to its partnership with the NHS.
Whilst care and support at the Hospice is continuing, this huge drop in income is putting the future of hospice services in our local area at risk, the Charity’s Chief Executive explains.
‘The Hospice was funded and built over thirty years ago thanks to a huge local fundraising campaign and it is thanks to the continued generosity of our supporters that we have been able to extend our services and increase the number of patients we can support over the years,’ says Jo Turner.
‘We are asking our local community to get behind us again and donate whatever they can to help us preserve the future of hospice services in our area.’
Throughout the pandemic the Hospice has continued to provide care for patients at the In-Patient Unit, in the community, through its new FNH@Home service, and offered remote support for Day Hospice patients and the recently bereaved.
Vicky Benning’s mother was cared for by the Hospice after she was diagnosed with terminal oesophageal cancer. After being admitted to the In-Patient Unit she battled on for six weeks and over that time Vicky and her siblings got to know the nurses and volunteers well.
‘The service and care we received from the nurses was absolutely wonderful. I will never ever be able to repay what the Hospice did for us, I simply couldn’t imagine going through the experience without them.
‘The team do it so well and it never felt like a charity, it just felt like an amazing place. Through my mum’s experience I have found out just how much money they have to raise each year and it’s just so important that they do it. ‘
Buckinghamshire has a growing and aging population so it anticipated there will be an increased demand for hospice care in future. The Charity are determined to ensure that patients in the future have access to the same high quality hospice care and support as patients today.