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PEOPLE are being urged to log in and support a cash strapped hospice.

That is the message from the dedicated staff at Hartlepool & District Hospice who are asking the people of the town for their help in securing the Wells Avenue-based facility £6,000.

The hard-up hospice could be in line for the cash boost as they look to benefit from a bank’s community funding project.

As previously reported in the Mail, the recession has hit the hospice hard and the facility relies on the kind-hearted donations from people in the town to help to raise a staggering £4,000 a day which is required to keep the hospice running.

But staff say a £6,000 windfall would be a huge boost to the hospice’s bereavement service, which helps hundreds of young people every year and offers one-to-one counselling sessions.

The cash would provide 82 counselling and support sessions for bereaved children and adults in Hartlepool and East Durham and would come just at the right time.

Donations to the hospice are 28 per cent down on what they were this time last year and huge redundancy figures and a number of companies closing down has also resulted in reduced corporate sponsorship.

It meant staff were delighted when they found out the facility had been short-listed as one of the charities which could benefit from the Natwest Community Force project.

The scheme is currently running an online vote and the charity with the most votes will receive the cash boost.

People still have more than two weeks to register until the vote closes on Sunday, October 23.

Sandra Britten, director of information governance at the hospice, said: “In 2010 we provided in excess of 1,500 individual counselling sessions, helping over 300 people coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.

“To put these extra 82 sessions into context, it would enable us to help a further 16 people to deal with the death of a family member.

“This £6,000 would provide a welcome boost to our abilities to provide specialist bereavement counselling to families in the Hartlepool and East Durham area.

To vote for the hospice, visit http://communityforce.natwest.com/project/2973

People can also vote by calling 0800 2100246 and those with hearing and speech impairments can contact 0800 0155545.

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