Rennie Grove Hospice faces struggle to raise funds to keep vital services going
PUBLISHED: 08:41 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:44 24 March 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is having a serious impact on local hospices as they strive to keep vital services running to support patients with life-limiting illness and their families.
Charity shops have closed their doors and fundraising activities have been scrapped, putting a huge strain on their finances.
Stewart Marks, chief executive of Rennie Grove Hospice Care, explained how they are responding to the crisis: “Our absolute priority is to make sure that our hospice at home service continues to offer care day and night to give our patients the choice to be at home with their families.
“At a time when some of us might be feeling a little challenged by the prospect of spending all our time at home, it’s important to remember that this is where most of our patients desperately want to be.
“And by making this possible, we also keep the pressure off the NHS by keeping people out of hospital wherever we can.
“It is vitally important to keep our patients, staff and volunteers safe and this has led to us changing the way we deliver some of our services. Our day services, which were taking place at temporary locations in and around St Albans while Grove House is being refurbished, have had to close to protect our vulnerable patients as well as staff and volunteers.
“We are keeping in close touch with these patients and offering them further support at home if needed.
“Our family support services are still running, providing most of its crucial support over the phone.”
Rennie Grove receives just 11 per cent of its funding from the NHS, which means it needs to raise over £20,000 every day to keep its services running.
Stewart said: “The stark truth is that we are finding this impossible in the current climate.
“We are having to cancel many of our fundraising activities and have had to close our charity shops to keep our staff, volunteers and customers safe.
“In response to this situation, we are doing all we can to highlight the problems hospices are facing to the government as well as looking at options for raising funds in different ways.
“While we aren’t able to run events and community activities or open our shops, we can bring people together online and we are launching some new digital fundraising initiatives including a Facebook fundraiser to highlight that we need the support of local people now more than ever.
“If you are able to help us reach our £100,000 target for the fundraiser by donating whatever you can afford, it would be very much appreciated.”
The charity’s appeal to raise funds to refurbish Grove House is also continuing. The work is well underway and although the coronavirus outbreak may cause a delay, it is still hoped that the work will be completed soon, turning Grove House into a welcoming and flexible hub for those in the local community needing support with a life-limiting illness.
You can support the appeal by buying a virtual brick - perhaps instead of an Easter egg - at www.renniegrove.org/brickbybrick
Although the charity’s shops are no longer open, people can still browse and buy from a range of unusual and unique products on the Rennie Grove Hospice Care eBay page.
Stewart added: “We know that people everywhere are being hit hard by the effects of this pandemic but I am heartened by the many examples we are seeing every day of communities coming together to ensure that local people get the support they need. We know that our service is highly valued by the local community and I very much hope that those who can will support us to get through these challenging times.
“Thank you to everyone who helps keep our nurses caring, we really couldn’t do it without you.”
How you can help: Make a donation at: www.renniegrove.org/donate Donate to the new online fundraiser at www.Bit.ly/RGFacebookFundraiser or www.JustGiving.com/campaign/RennieGroveneedsyou Buy a virtual brick for Easter at www.renniegrove.org/brickbybrick Visit the Rennie Grove eBay shop at www.ebay.co.uk/str/renniegrovehospicecare
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