Donations to hospice down

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HOSPICE bosses face a tense time in the new year after figures revealed donations are down by 16 per cent on last year.

Staff at Hartlepool and District Hospice, in Wells Avenue, gave a “resounding thank you” to residents for their continued support.

However, at the end of November donations were nearly £5,000 down from the start of April compared to the same period last year.

Bosses say fundraising staff are working extremely hard to ensure the drop doesn’t affect the hospice’s ability to provide services to the community.

A huge 81 per cent of the hospice’s funding to keep it in working order is provided by the community, demonstrating the importance of donations and other fundraising events.

By the end of November, generous residents in the town had donated £24,869 to the hospice. While that is an impressive amount, it falls significantly short of the £29,668 handed over in the same eight-month period in 2010.

The figures only include donations and are raised by monthly direct debits and payments into the hospice’s lottery.

They don’t take into account fundraising events organised by residents or the hospice itself.

Despite the drop, Francis McAllister, director of fundraising at the hospice said staff are confident their annual funding target will be reached.

He said: “We do have a fantastic level of support and if that continues and we get the results we are hoping for then we will hit our target but it is going to be tight.

“I think December is our critical month so we will look at the figures again early next month and have a better idea of where we stand.”

The support of the community has helped the hospice provide services for 297 patients who stayed in the facility for more than 10 days this year.

A further 479 patients used the day hospice from January-November.

Tracy Woodall, chief executive of Hartlepool and District Hospice, added: “The support of the local community is absolutely vital to the success of the hospice.

“The level of support from local people means that we can maintain and grow our services to reflect the needs of the community.

“I want to thank all our supporters from the bottom of my heart.”

For more information on how to support Hartlepool and District Hospice, visit www.hartlepoolhospice.co.uk.

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