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Hospice’s urgent appeal as donations dry up due to coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 11:53 02 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 02 April 2020

Ru Watkins, chief executive of St Elizabeth Hospice, says urgent funding is required Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Ru Watkins, chief executive of St Elizabeth Hospice, says urgent funding is required Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

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A Suffolk hospice has launched an urgent appeal because its funding has dried up during the coronavirus pandemic – which has prevented its stores from opening and fundraising events from being held.

The recent quiz night at Ipswich High School raised £23,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice - but such vital events cannot be held under the lockdown restrictions Picture: EMMA LLOYD/RELISHThe recent quiz night at Ipswich High School raised £23,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice - but such vital events cannot be held under the lockdown restrictions Picture: EMMA LLOYD/RELISH

St Elizabeth Hospice, in Foxhall Road in Ipswich, has announced it is working with the NHS and its partners to quickly generate desperately-needed funds.

In anticipation of expected increased demand for end-of-life care in the coming weeks and months, the hospice has created a new rapid response co-ordination centre - which will double the capacity of its existing advice helpline.

But given the high cost of palliative care - the care home spending £10.5million last year on care for more than 3,000 people - new sources of income are required.

Ru Watkins, chief executive of St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Every family who has come into contact with our consultants, doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers over the years knows how dedicated they are to our local community.

Last summer's Elmer trail in Ipswich was a huge fundraiser for St Elizabeth Hospice. Young Ipswich singer Roma Nicholson was one of those who took part - busking her way around, singing 55 songs, one for each elephant Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNLast summer's Elmer trail in Ipswich was a huge fundraiser for St Elizabeth Hospice. Young Ipswich singer Roma Nicholson was one of those who took part - busking her way around, singing 55 songs, one for each elephant Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We are still here with our patients delivering the care they need today so ask everyone to support our efforts together.”

St Elizabeth Hospice’s incomes chiefly come from its 31 stores and from fundraising.

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But with government lockdown rules in force for the next few weeks, the hospice have had to attract income from other sources.

The new appeal - dubbed ‘Here Together’ - is highlighting of the hospice on the frontline of the current pandemic

It also aims to ensure it can continue to deliver essential care when the crisis is over.

The ‘Here Together’ appeal will be promoted through the hospice’s social media channels, which will raise awareness of the role it plays in caring for Suffolk’s vulnerable patients.

A JustGiving page has also been set up, with a goal of £250,000.

The appeal is being supported by the families of patients - including Wendy Goddard.

She said: “St Elizabeth Hospice was there for me and my family when my daughter Zoe sadly passed away. Their support was outstanding.

“Last month I was due to hold a Charity Night for 300 people to raise funds to support the hospice but sadly this has had to be postponed.

“I would ask you to do what you can in this time of need to support our local hospice together.”


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