SUPPORTERS have rallied around Queenscourt Hospice after the coronavirus pandemic sent their income plunging to less than a third – at a time when they had to shell out more than ever before to equip staff with PPE equipment.
The Champion spoke to the team at the Kew hospice, which provides end of life care for patients from Southport, Formby and West Lancashire – and we were shocked to find out that they have suffered from a 66% reduction in legacies left in people’s wills and 68% fundraising drop compared to 2019.
This is largely down to major events such as the Star Trekk night walk and Make a Will Month not being held as planned this spring.
Compounding the ‘startling reality’ of the significant loss of income was the initial uncertainty about the regular provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), essential for maintaining the safety of patients and staff. Queenscourt has had to spend tens of thousands of pounds of charitable funds on PPE, usually at over-inflated prices to ensure that the supply could meet the demand, whilst official provision of PPE was awaited.
During the struggle to access NHS and government supplies of PPE Queenscourt has received many generous donations from the local community in this regard, for which they are ‘very grateful.’
A spokesperson for the charity told the Champion: “As we move into the next phase of the pandemic, we recognise the dramatic impact it is having on us, which has seen our fundraising income fall by almost two thirds. All of us at #teamqueenscourt are doing our utmost to battle through these unprecedented times and are striving to maintain the hospice’s vital services whilst continuing to support patients and their families, at a time when they need support more than ever.
“During these difficult times, the hospice has welcomed the kindness and support received from its local community in all sorts of ways, which has helped to keep us in service up to now.
“Only last month, we launched our Compassionate Communities initiative to encourage communities to support one another, and to highlight the support that the hospice has received from people of all ages and to say thank you for this.
“Fundraising efforts have included that of Niall Carroll, 11, who raised over £1,300 by organising his own ‘2.6 Challenge’; and sisters Emma and Becky Horner and Michelle Harwood who planned their own walk in place of Star Trekk and raised over £1,000.
“In addition to the many fundraisers, people have also helped by providing vital PPE. These include Laura Loveday who called on friends in China to help her source face masks and launched a crowdfunding appeal to pay for them. It wasn’t long before 1,000 masks had arrived and more than £1,500 had been raised to buy more PPE for Queenscourt.
“While we are deeply grateful for all the support it has received so far, we need continued support as all efforts are made to keep us in service.”
Dr Karen Groves MBE, medical and education director at Queenscourt added: “Every penny helps. #teamqueenscourt is still dealing with a significant loss in fundraising income and we are therefore appealing for this support to continue – whether it’s in the form of a one-off or regular donation, organising a fundraising event of your own or signing up to our weekly Lottery. All support is gratefully received and will help to Keep Queenscourt in Service.”
To support Queenscourt, go to https://www.queenscourt.org.uk/donation or text HEART to 70300.