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Gwent hospice issues desperate plea for funds

Faced with the  biggest challenge in its forty year history,  Gwent’s St David’s Hospice Care is making a desperate plea for support.

The Newport-based hospice, which has to fund 70% of its clinical services through its events, now cancelled, and its shops, all closed, is bracing  itself for a massive spike in Covid-19 pandemic referrals.

St David’s Hospice Care events raise £2.5m a year for the hospice and the shops in excess of £1m.

In the face of this drastic loss of income the hospice has launched a Just Giving page to receive direct online donations so it can carry on with its essential work throughout Gwent and South Powys.

The address for donations is: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/stdavidscovid19

Hospice chief executive Emma Saysell says: “Our plea to supporters , the community and businesses, is urgent and immediate. I fully expect referrals for our services to increase by 40 -50 % over coming days.

“St David’s Hospice Care relies on the income generated by the shops and fundraising to provide its vital hospice care. The NHS contributes 30% of the clinical costs to St David’s Hospice Care, the hospice has to raise the rest through its shops and fundraising to pay the nursing salaries.
“With the shops shut and all fundraising events postponed the hospice faces major cash flow issues. The demand on the hospice clinical services is going to increase as Covid-19 hits its peak and the hospice wants to ensure it can meet this increasing demand, working alongside its NHS colleagues.

“If you would normally support us by shopping in one of our stores perhaps you would consider making a donation at this time, if we have supported you, a friend or family member perhaps you could consider a donation. Any donation,  however big or small, will be so gratefully received. We want to be able to meet demand for our care and ensure all our patients receive the best end of life care at these very difficult times.

“So very many concerned people and businesses contacted us directly and me in person asking how they could help during the pandemic. We set up the Just Giving page as the best and most immediate way supporters can help right now.”

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The Newport-based palliative and end of life care hospice normally cares for some 1,200 patients on a daily basis. This number is now expected to rocket as the pandemic increases its lethal grip on this community.

“We are experts in palliative and end of life care. Our unique specialism and knowledge has never been as crucial as it is now. But we desperately need people and businesses to come forward to donate money right now, today and to continue to do so, to allow St David’s Hospice Care to carry on doing our job and what we know best, in these increasingly desperate times.

“I am imploring and appealing to everyone to get behind St David’s Hospice Care like never before in our forty years history at this most challenging and difficult time.”

The hospice, which normally needs £8.5m a year to run its range of services including its inpatient hospice and day hospices, is reeling from the effects on its fundraising dealt by Covid-19.

The hospice’s shops, which generate in excess of £1m a year, are now all closed. A catalogue of fund raising events planned for the year, which generate £2.5m a year, are either postponed or cancelled.

“These are extremely worrying and totally unprecedented times. The hospice and its nursing staff have a crucial and increasingly important role to play at this very difficult time and are all determined to carry on with their work.

“Our 15-bed in-patient hospice, at Malpas and our at home Community Nursing Service remain open. Our nurses are at people’s homes caring as usual throughout our community delivering palliative and end of life care every hour, of every day, of every week of the year. This need will only increase as the days pass.
“We’re always reliant on the marvellous support from the community to help us provide our care in the community but never has that need been so great as now when we are battling against the most challenging situation we have ever faced in our forty years. If you can please do help us by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/stdavidscovid19 Thank you”