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Coronavirus Appeal

Urgent appeal: One year on

In April 2020, we asked for your help as the pandemic plunged us into financial difficulty and we feared that we would be forced to close some of our services.

The Government, recognising the role Hospices were playing, pledged to provide additional financial support. This left us with £600,000 to find to make ends meet. In March 2021, we hit that target with thanks to incredible support from our community.

As a result, we were able adapt our services and keep supporting the people who needed us during the pandemic. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

Where are we now?

  • We are supporting patients who have been isolating for long periods of time and therefore, whose health has deteriorated.
  • We have had a surge in mental health referrals, particularly from young people.
  • We know there’s been a delay in diagnostics for serious illness, which we expect will cause an increase in demand for our services –anecdotally, some of our patients believe delays to their treatment have resulted in them needing our support earlier.
  • Our shops have reopened and we have launched fundraising events, but with times being hard for many and the threat of a third wave, there’s a risk these key income areas will be disrupted again.
  • We know the Government will not provide any support to Hospices this year, so we have no safety net.
  • We still need to raise £5million this year to fund our services.

In this current environment your commitment to us and our patients is needed more than ever.

How has the money raised through the urgent appeal helped?

It has been an extraordinary year. At the start of the pandemic, we increased our capacity to support the NHS and throughout the year we have continually updated and adapted our services so we can safely support as many people possible.

The Inpatient Unit has remained open throughout the pandemic to people needing symptom control and end of life care. Though restricted, we’ve always accommodated visitors so people have been able to see those closest to them. We were one of the first local health care providers to request compulsory lateral flow tests to all visitors to support this.

We have continued to support people in their own homes, increasing our ‘virtual’ beds to cope with demand. With so many of our patients isolating, our teams have been a lifeline.

Wellbeing and rehabilitation support and groups were provided online during the bulk of the pandemic, but we are now welcoming patients back to the Hawthorne Centre too.

Our pre and post bereavement support moved online, which is something our patients have asked us to continue. Others have been able to benefit from ‘walking therapy’, taking place in our gardens.

Our education team have delivered training to NHS, nursing home, mental health and social care colleagues, promoting high-quality end of life care in all these settings.

The Compassionate Neighbours have found ways to safely support those lonely an isolated, picking up shopping and prescriptions but also providing social support in the form of virtual meet ups.

Kevin’s story: ‘I’ve got my mojo back now’

Kevin has a chronic lung condition called COPD, which causes symptoms such as breathlessness and frequent chest infections. He has been receiving support from Garden House Hospice Care for four years, but our Hawthorne Centre was forced to close during the first lockdown and Kevin had to isolate. Within months, his health had deteriorated so badly he could hardly walk, spent most of his time in bed and had to use a wheelchair.

We welcomed Kevin back to the Hawthorne Centre in September and immediately focused on getting his mobility back. Within weeks he was using our treadmill and lifting weights again and Kevin could resume activities – such as household chores!

“My partner Martine is happy because I can do things around the house again,” he laughed.

I’ve got a much better life than before. I can’t praise the Hospice enough. My quality of life had gone down to nothing, but I’ve got my mojo back now. The Hospice has made me feel positive about the future. Without it I’d be isolated and I’d get quite despondent - their support has made all the difference.”

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