BOSSES at Barnsley Hospice have thanked the local community after £30,000 was raised following the launch of an urgent appeal.
Residents, businesses and schools have rallied round to support the hospice after the Chronicle revealed last week that it was sustaining a £2,300 per day shortfall due to the knock-on effects of coronavirus.
Like all other hospices up and down the UK, Barnsley’s has been hit by a downturn in income due to the situation.
The hospice’s borough-wide shops are no longer open and fundraising events have had to be cancelled, meaning it is down in terms of its usual income, although the inpatient unit remains open to provide care to those who need it.
As well as receiving money, the hospice has been helped by schools and other organisations which have donated vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, including Wakefield Girls’ High School which manufactured face masks in its design and technology classroom, and Penistone Grammar School which donated safety goggles and disposable protective aprons.
One local resident left a bunch of daffodils to say thank you to staff, and rainbow pictures by local children have been left on the hospice’s Gawber gates.
Julie Ferry, chief executive at Barnsley Hospice, said: “We can’t thank everyone enough for their support so far towards the appeal.
“We have been touched by the kindness and generosity shown towards the hospice and our frontline staff who continue to provide end-of-life care to our patients.
“The daffodils and rainbow pictures have helped to lift our spirits during this challenging time.”
The hospice needs to raise over £2m each year from the community to continue to provide care for patients with progressive, life-limiting illnesses and support for their families.
A further £1.6m is provided by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
“We would like to reassure our patients, families, volunteers and supporters that the hospice continues to provide inpatient care and we will not be closing but like everyone else, we don’t know how long the Covid-19 situation will continue.
“Any donations you are able to make towards our appeal will help us get through this difficult time.”
Since 1994 it’s provided 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.
“Our community of supporters never fail to amaze us,” Julie added.
“I’d like to thank every single person who has donated, for all the messages of support and offers of help. We cannot do this without people’s support and it’s especially poignant given the current world we’re living in and the situations they’re facing.”