Hospices unite to launch Forever Fund appeal
Nottinghamshire Hospice and Beaumond House Community Hospice in Newark have joined forces to launch a special appeal for ongoing support in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Despite being severely impacted by Covid-19, both hospices survived, with help from their supporters, and even extended their services to help more patients and families. Now they are asking people to pledge a small regular amount to safeguard them from any future impact of the pandemic.
“Hospice care is more important than ever as it allows patients with a terminal illness to stay at home in their final days with family around them and keeps them out of hospital,” said Rowena Naylor-Morrell, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Hospice.
“Both our hospices took a substantial financial hit due to shops being closed and events cancelled. Nobody knows how long the pandemic will continue or what the new normal will look like, so we are setting up our Forever Fund to safeguard services should there be future peaks and lockdowns.”
Debbie Abrams, Chief Executive of Beaumond House Community Hospice said: “The pandemic has caused a wave of unplanned, traumatic deaths, which has brought home to many people how important it is to plan for a good death wherever possible.
“We can step in and support patients and families during those last weeks, days, and hours of life. By helping us secure our future, we can help you plan for yours.”
Since the pandemic hit, both hospices adapted their services quickly to cope with increased demand and new challenges. Nottinghamshire Hospice set up a new Hospice Outreach and Discharge Service (HODS) and now offers round the clock care to patients at the end of life in their own homes plus support for their families and carers.
Hospice steps in to bring George home
Thanks to hospice intervention, George Todd, from Strelley, was discharged from hospital to spend his final days at home with family and friends around him.
George, 80, was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year and learnt the cancer had spread to his brain. He spent a week in hospital – where he was not allowed visits due to lockdown – before Nottinghamshire Hospice stepped in with help from the new HODS team.
His daughter Tracey, who moved in with George to care for him full time, said: “It was awful not being allowed to visit him in hospital because of the COVID situation. It was such a relief to have him home as it allowed relatives to see him and he knew we hadn’t abandoned him. He cried with relief when he came home to his own room with photos of mum by his bed.
“Without the support from the hospice we wouldn’t have been able to get him home and I couldn’t have coped with looking after him on my own.”
Tracey said she felt unprepared for caring for her father at end of life but the hospice team reassured her.
“The people who came were very friendly and professional and respectful to my dad.
“When someone gets to this point you don’t know what to expect as it’s all new. They reassured me that I was doing a good job. As well as caring for my dad they also checked on me as the carer to make sure I was ok.”
Both hospices are local charities, reliant on donations to provide care in their areas and both predict substantial losses this year. The two hospices are anticipating a combined loss in income of £450,000 by the end of the year due to the cumulative effects of the pandemic.
The Forever Fund appeal launch comes just after Nottinghamshire Hospice marked its 40th birthday.
“Nottinghamshire Hospice has been here for 40 years. We intend to be here for the next 40 years too! Please consider giving a regular gift to help us keep care free into the future. By pledging just £10 a month you can help us secure the future of palliative care across Nottinghamshire,” Rowena added.