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The local charity, which helps local people face incurable illness and bereavement, is urging local people to donate to the Appeal to help ensure they can continue to provide the highest quality, compassionate care and support to patients and families.
Mark Jarman-Howe, St Helena Hospice’s chief executive, said: “We’re facing a devastating loss of income because of the impact of the coronavirus. We have shut our shops; postponed our events; and many of you who were planning on supporting us at work, at school, at home or just out and about, have had to put a hold on your fundraising.
“As a charity, we need to raise around £2 million a year from our shops and fundraising combined, both of which will be significantly impacted for several months. The harsh reality of this situation is that it could have a negative impact on our ability to continue caring for thousands of local people who rely on our services every year.
“Right now, you can support us by donating to our urgent appeal so that we can continue to provide the expert and compassionate care our patients and families deserve and need.”
St Helena Hospice’s staff are also facing daily challenges as they work to adapt the way they provide their services to protect vulnerable patients, as well as staff and volunteers.
Mark added: “We are doing everything we can to protect loved ones in our care right now.
“Even at this difficult time, The Hospice remains open and we continue to work tirelessly to care for our patients here if they cannot be cared for at home.
“We are receiving more than 150 calls most days, many from distressed family members, meaning our SinglePoint telephone advice team is under more pressure than ever.
“We are therefore expanding our SinglePoint and Virtual Ward services continuously to meet the demand. This includes moving staff over to these teams from other roles within St Helena and retraining them to provide 24/7 advice and support over the phone, freeing up our nurses to quickly respond to patients in crisis with an emergency visit.”
St Helena Hospice’s Virtual Ward is also rapidly growing, now caring for eight patients at a time, with healthcare assistants providing personal care to the patient and support for the family when a patient is in their last days of life – helping them remain at home if that is where they want to be.
The charity’s Day Therapy Centres in Colchester and Clacton have both been closed to the public and bereavement and counselling support is now being provided over the phone.
Mark continued: “This is why the support of the local community is more important than ever before. We urgently need more funds now so we are able to continue to adapt our services to provide whatever care and support is needed to those who are facing dying, death and bereavement in north Essex.
“If you are able to, please donate whatever you can. Your generosity and support will allow us to face this crisis and keep your local hospice running to help our patients and families get through this difficult time.”
Posted: 26th March 2020
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