1.5million thanks to local people

Hartlepool and District Hospice Fundraising manager John Martindale  (front centre) with Hospice staff at the news that �1,569,697.30 has been raised for the Hospice. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool and District Hospice Fundraising manager John Martindale (front centre) with Hospice staff at the news that �1,569,697.30 has been raised for the Hospice. Picture by FRANK REID
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HOSPICE bosses have thanked Hartlepool residents for keeping them afloat after revealing a staggering £1.5m has poured in over the last year from the public pocket.

Hartlepool & District Hospice looked to be facing a bleak future just over a year ago, with funding cuts leaving the Wells Avenue facility on the brink of closure.

But bosses have released figures which show a total of £1,569,697 has been raked in by generous supporters.

The huge total, which all goes directly towards maintaining the services provided by the hospice, has been raised through events held in the community, kind-hearted donations, the weekly lottery draw and the support of businesses.

Today delighted hospice staff have thanked the “incredibly kind” hospice supporters, saying:

“If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here.”

The fundraising total is another boost for hospice bosses who revealed earlier this year that the facility was just three months away from closure due to financial struggles in 2011.

But after strategic changes were made, the hospice broke even in the 2011-12 financial year and this fundraising total is another example of the facility being in a stable position to move forward.

Greg Hildreth, the hospice’s events fundraiser, said: “It’s a massive thank you from all the staff and patients here to everyone who has helped to raise this phenomenal amount of money.

“Without such incredibly kind support, we would not be able to help our community and provide our specialist care services.

“Everyone who has contributed in any way whatsoever has played a part in this year’s success and every donation is valuable.”

Greg said the total includes all aspects of fundraising and donations, including support of hospice events, events held in the community, shop sales, legacies, the hospice lottery, which raises around £380,000 every year, and corporate support.

Two of the biggest fundraising events in the hospice calendar, the facility’s Moonlight Walk and the Great North Run both played a big part.

More than 300 women, many with their own tragic stories of losing loved ones in hospice care, hit the streets for this year’s Moonlight Walk in October while the hospice’s Great North Run places were snapped up immediately, as they are every year.

Hospice staff are now focused on continuing the momentum into next year, with plans already in place for all of the hospice’s main events.

Greg added: “We look forward to continuing this success in 2013 and beyond, alongside our wonderful friends and supporters.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish a very happy and peaceful Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers and our supporters from everyone at the hospice.”