A ‘DEVASTATING’ cash shortfall triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has left Barnsley Hospice on the brink – leading an urgent appeal to be launched in a bid to save it from closing its doors.

It provides specialist support to many cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s sufferers – and been a fundraising favourite due to the sheer amount of local families it’s helped since – but it’s hoped its current plight will spur even more to help secure its future.

The fundraising appeal – which launched last Friday – has already generated more than £10,000 this week, but management estimate they could have to raise much more as it is currently sustaining losses of £2,300 per day.

Julie Ferry, the hospice’s chief executive, has urged the people of Barnsley to get behind the make-or-break appeal to raise money so it can keep its doors open for the coming months.

She told the Chronicle: “The hospice needs to raise more than £2m each year to continue to provide care for patients with life-limiting illnesses and support for their families.

“In the current climate we are seeing a decrease in income of £2,300 per day.

“The coronavirus outbreak is having a devastating impact on the hospice. Our shops are now closed and many of our fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed.

“Without these funding streams we simply cannot raise the money needed to continue our care for the most vulnerable in our community.

“We know this is a worrying time for everyone, but we are appealing to the people of Barnsley to not forget about their local hospice.

“Our incredible inpatient unit staff continue to deliver compassionate end-of-life care, but we need help now more than ever in these unprecedented times. Any donation, however big or small, really will make a difference.”

The idea to build a hospice in Barnsley was born in 1985, when a small group of pioneers met in St Peter’s Church to look at ways of securing funding and support, but opened its Gawber base in 1994.

* Visit the Barnsley Hospice website for more information.