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Hospices unite to launch Forever Fund appeal

From left: Debbie Abrams, Rowena Naylor-Morrell and Nurse Felicity Walker

Nottinghamshire Hospice and Beaumond House Community Hospice Hospice have joined forces to launch a special appeal for ongoing support in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Despite being severely impacted by Covid-19, both hospices survived, with help from their supporters, and even extended their services to help more patients and families. Now they are asking people to pledge a small regular amount to safeguard them from any future impact of the pandemic.

“Hospice care is more important than ever as it allows patients with a terminal illness to stay at home in their final days with family around them and keeps them out of hospital,” said Rowena Naylor-Morrell, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Hospice.

“Both our hospices took a substantial financial hit due to shops being closed and events cancelled. Nobody knows how long the pandemic will continue or what the new normal will look like, so we are setting up our Forever Fund to safeguard services should there be future peaks and lockdowns.”

Debbie Abrams, Chief Executive of Beaumond House Community Hospice said: “The pandemic has caused a wave of unplanned, traumatic deaths, which has brought home to many people how important it is to plan for a good death wherever possible.

“We can step in and support patients and families during those last weeks, days, and hours of life. By helping us secure our future, we can help you plan for yours.”

Since the pandemic hit, both hospices adapted their services quickly to cope with increased demand and new challenges. Nottinghamshire Hospice set up a new Hospice Outreach and Discharge Service (HODS) and now offers round the clock care to patients at the end of life in their own homes plus support for their families and carers.

Brenda Needham, 77, from Newark has been supported by all three of Beaumond House’s core services during lockdown. She says she simply would not have coped without their support during this time.

Brenda who has pulmonary fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease and angina first came to Beaumond House two years ago to access day-therapy support. During lockdown Brenda was admitted to the in-patient unit to have additional support with medication. Early intervention by Beaumond House helped to prevent a possible hospital admission for Brenda. Now home again she continues to be supported by the Hospice at Home team with regular checks and support.

Brenda had experienced hospice care when both her husband and son were supported by a local hospice in York and because of this she said, “I wasn’t frightened to come to the Hospice, Newark is so lucky to have Beaumond House, I wasn’t going there to wait for God, we laugh and laugh so much.” She went on, “the phone call support, the afternoon teas and visits I have received have made the world of difference, they have kept me sane and cared for throughout this dreadful time, I get anxious and I can talk to them about anything.”

Brenda’s particular memory of the in-patient support was of how the team were always on hand to support with whatever she needed, she said, “the kitchen staff, the care staff and the house keepers all made me feel like I am at home with my family, it is incredible, we must do everything we can to ensure it is there for whoever and whenever people need it.”

Both hospices are local charities, reliant on donations to provide care in their areas and both predict substantial losses this year. The two hospices are anticipating a combined loss in income of £750,000 by the end of the year.

For more information about the Forever Fund appeal visit here

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