CHIEFS at Queenscourt Hospice in Kew say that a ‘swell of community support is helping to sustain them as the charity faces a steep downturn in funding due to the impact of coronavirus.’
Local people have come up with an array of imaginative ways to raise vital funds for the local charity, which provides care for more than 1,800 patients a year across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire with life-limiting conditions.
All funding will go towards helping continue to deliver its range of essential services. It costs more than £400 an hour, 365 days a year to keep Queenscourt in service and the charity relies heavily on donations and community support in order to do so. The coronavirus crisis has had a significant impact on Queenscourt's annual calendar of fundraising events, meaning the hospice now faces a large funding shortfall. For the first time in 14 years, Queenscourt was unable to hold its much-loved Star Trekk sponsored night walk through Southport – which last year raised almost £80,000 for the charity. A host of other sponsored events, which would have resulted in thousands of pounds of funding for the hospice, have also been cancelled. In addition, Queenscourt's charity shops have had to close temporarily – although Queenscourt eBay is still trading online.
In a bid to close this funding gap, local people have rallied to Queenscourt's aid in a variety of ways. Some are donating money to the hospice that they would have spent elsewhere.
Southport resident, John Caddy is making a regular, weekly donation to Queenscourt by giving the charity his beer money.
He said: “Like a lot of chaps, I go out at least once a week to see the lads but clearly I can’t do that at the moment. I thought, why not donate that money to a good cause and there is no better cause than Queenscourt.”
Elsewhere, Tess the Labrador, who is owned by Queenscourt volunteer maintenance worker, Dan Gordon put her nose to good use raising over £800 for Queenscourt through a sponsored sniffer dog challenge.
Other members of the community have raised funds through sponsored online game-a-thons, crowd-funding campaigns, and donating money they would normally have spent on manicures and take-out coffees.
Debra Lawson, Director of Corporate Services at Queenscourt Hospice said: “Fundraising efforts like this, from members of our local community, are a vital source of income for our charity and we hope others will be encouraged to follow their excellent and very generous example.
"We are all facing an incredibly challenging time, but we have seen acts of great kindness and compassion demonstrated by people in our communities towards our hospice and each other. Encouraging a culture of 'Compassionate Communities' is at the heart of everything Queenscourt does, and it is fantastic to see people embracing this philosophy to support us, so that we can support you.
"The cancellation of events like Star Trekk will result in a significant loss of income for Queenscourt, which as a small local charity with a big reach, will hit us hard. That's why we are enormously grateful to anyone who goes out of their way to help us keep on providing essential care."
Queenscourt provides care within the hospice setting and to patients at home, through its In-Patient unit, Queenscourt Connect and Queenscourt at Home services. The charity also sends specialist nurses and doctors into hospital, people’s homes and Care Homes to advise and support patients, families and the frontline staff caring for them.
To make a donation to Queenscourt, go to www.queenscourt.org.uk/donate or text HEART to 70300, or phone the Fundraising Team on 01704 517420.