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Under threat Ipswich hospice handed £88k lifeline after incredible fundraising campaign

Genesis PR has helped St Elizabeth Hospice raise more than £88,000 to help cope during the coronavirus crisis. Clockwise from left, Alex Raymond, Penny Arbuthnot, Ann Scott and Emma Hart from Genesis on a Microsoft Teams call. Pictire: GENESIS PR

Genesis PR has helped St Elizabeth Hospice raise more than £88,000 to help cope during the coronavirus crisis. Clockwise from left, Alex Raymond, Penny Arbuthnot, Ann Scott and Emma Hart from Genesis on a Microsoft Teams call. Pictire: GENESIS PR

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Its crucial work caring for people with terminal illnesses was under major threat, with leaders fearing the coronavirus crisis would make it “impossible” to cover its £10.5million annual bill.

St Elizabeth Hospice has been forced to close many of its shops during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: ARCHANTSt Elizabeth Hospice has been forced to close many of its shops during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: ARCHANT

But now, Ipswich-based St Elizabeth Hospice has been handed an unexpected lifeline - after an urgent public appeal stumped up £88,686 of badly needed funding.

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The independent charity, which provides palliative care for those living with progressive and terminal illnesses, usually raises 75% of the £10.5m it needs to run its services every year from fundraising and community donations.

Much of the fundraising is done by volunteers, particularly at its network of 31 charity shops.

Penny Arbuthnot, director of Genesis  Picture: GREGG BROWNPenny Arbuthnot, director of Genesis Picture: GREGG BROWN

But Judi Newman, development director for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “With social distancing and self-isolation during the Covid-19 crisis that has been impossible.”

As such, she said it was “necessary to launch an urgent public appeal”.

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Ipswich-based public relations and marketing agency Genesis volunteered to give its time and expertise free of charge, helping to create the #HereTogether campaign.

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Genesis has helped raise awareness of the campaign through digital advertising, reaching 50,710 people and being seen 325,159 times.

#HereTogether has raised £88,620 on JustGiving alone, which could help fund 3,151 hours of extra care provided by a nurse in the hospice.

“We have been so impressed with their can-do attitude and creative digital marketing expertise,” said Ms Newman of Genesis’ work.

“The #HereTogether appeal has helped us create an immediate impact and raise vital funds to continue our work in the community.”

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in Suffolk

Each year, Genesis PR provides pro-bono support to a different local charity.

Suffolk Mind, Genesis Orwell Mencap and FIND (Families in Need) are among the organisations it has supported.

Director of Genesis, Penny Arbuthnot, said: “When we were contacted by St Elizabeth Hospice we had no hesitation in offering our services free of charge to support the hospice’s valuable work which was under threat due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding for our team to work with the St Elizabeth Hospice team to create the #HereTogether fundraising campaign.”

To learn more about the campaign, visit the #HereTogether page here.

To donate, visit the JustGiving page here.


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