North Derbyshire hospice charity issues fundraising appeal as winter pressures begin to bite
A north Derbyshire hospice charity has issued an urgent appeal for public support as it prepares to face extraordinary winter pressures.
With coronavirus and winter flu circulating at the same time, Ashgate Hospice is expecting difficult months ahead but staff are determined to continue providing compassionate end-of-life care which supports.
Ashgate director Hayley Wardle said: “This really will be a challenging winter; it may feel like the world has returned to normal but for the most vulnerable in our community that simply isn’t the case.
“That is why we are asking our local community to support us through one of the toughest times in over 30 years, so that we can be there for those who need us most."
The charity has already seen a rise in demand for its services and is working with Chesterfield Royal Hospital and other partners to relieve the pressure on hospital beds and in the community.
Hayley said: “Without question demand for the hospice’s services is set to continue to increase and that will undoubtedly lead to greater pressures on our staff and volunteers who are still adhering to strict infection prevention measures, whether working in the hospice or out in the wider community.
“It may feel like the world is ‘back to normal’ but COVID-19 is still very much a threat to the vulnerable people in our care, many of whom have suppressed immune systems from either diagnosis or treatment.”
While the Government has promised extra funding for the NHS to address the crisis, charities like Ashgate are currently not in line for additional support.
Last year the Government offered one-off payments to help plug the gap, but no additional funding for hospices has been announced for this winter.Hayley said: “We will be relying on the generosity of our local community to help fund crucial end of life care and services through another difficult winter. We hope people will support our winter appeal and give what they can.
”Currently, less than a third of Ashgate’s services are funded through local health budgets so we need to raise £7million a year to continue to provide its care.”
To make a donation, go to www.ashgatehospice.org.uk/winter-appeal.