Sue Ryder, the national healthcare charity, is launching an emergency appeal to save its end of life services which include Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger, which provides palliative care for people with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families.
Before the coronavirus struck, statutory funding only covered approximately one third of the costs involved in running the charity’s end of life care. Sue Ryder bridged that gap with fundraising efforts and income from its 450 shops nationwide.
With fundraising events now cancelled and its shops closed, the charity has a matter of months before it will have to close its hospices and hospice at home services across the country.
Sue Ryder says it will have a funding gap of £12 million over the next three months. Without immediate financial support, the critical end of life care that Sue Ryder provides to thousands of families each year will cease.
The funding shortfall comes at a time when the NHS is relying on Sue Ryder to support them in caring for thousands of families as part of the fight against COVID-19. The charity continues to plead with the Government for emergency funding, but in desperation has now turned to the public in a bid to save its hospices.
Heidi Travis, Chief Executive at Sue Ryder, said: “We have been calling on the Government to support us but no funding has materialised. The country will lose its hospices at a time when they are needed most.
“This is a plea and no less, we cannot wait any longer. Our doctors and nurses are working night and day to provide end of life care to more people now and in the coming weeks, than ever before.
“We are a critical front-line support service in the fight against Coronavirus yet we are on the brink of closure. We are all facing something we have never faced before and we are asking the public to give whatever you can afford to help us to help those who need it most.”
Meanwhile, Jacqui Ackroyd, a nurse at the Moggerhanger hospice, has also written an open letter to the public appealing for urgent support via www.sueryder.org/donateShe wrote: "I am writing to you to tell you about the devastating impact the Coronavirus crisis is having on us and how we urgently need your help.
"We are facing a huge challenge in the next few weeks. All of our shops have closed and nearly all of our fundraising activities have stopped resulting in a massive drop in our
"For the very first time we are finding ourselves in the position where we might not be able to afford to continue providing end of life care. We are so very proud of the work we do, the expert care we give and the vital support we provide to the NHS, thanks to our generous supporters.
"Today, we find ourselves needed more than ever before. It is devastating to think we might not be able to continue. I cannot imagine what our patients would do without us. This is why I
am asking for your help.
"If we can raise enough money to help us get through the next few weeks we stand a chance. It will make all the difference. We are all facing something we have never faced before, which is why Sue Ryder has launched an emergency appeal.
"I am asking you to please, give whatever you can afford. Every pound you give could make the difference to whether we can continue to be there when it matters for local families in the future. It is that simple. Please donate at www.sueryder.org/donate."