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Hospice in Mapperley makes urgent plea for people to back Christmas appeal as lockdown blows £150k hole in budget

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A hospice in Mapperley has put out an urgent appeal for people to support its annual Christmas campaign after warning they could face a funding shortfall of £150,000 due to lockdown.

Nottinghamshire Hospice, which provides crucial 24-hour end-of-life care to patients in their own homes all through the year, has appealed to the public to support its virtual ‘Light up a Life’ event where they can dedicate a light to remember a loved one.

The recent lockdown has meant the hospice’s 10 shops – which bring in £1 million a year in income for the charity – have had to close again at what is normally their busiest time. They reopened in August after a three month closure during the earlier lockdown.

Fundraising events since March have all been cancelled too, leaving the hospice with an expected shortfall of £150,000 – with possible additional losses of £250,000 due the additional shop closures during Lockdown 2.  

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Nottinghamshire Hospice chief executive Rowena Naylor-Morrell is now urging people to help make up the funding shortfall by getting behind this year’s campaign.

She said: “Christmas 2020 will not be a normal Christmas for any of us but for those approaching the end of their lives and their families it will be an especially hard time. Our compassionate care enables patients to be cared for in their homes all through the year but this is especially important at Christmas.

“Every year we are heartened by support from our wonderful communities, and this year we need that support more than ever as our ability to fundraise has been severely curtailed due to the impact of the Coronavirus.”

PICTURED: Sheila and her husband Roy of Berry Hill, Mansfield

Last Christmas, hospice support enabled Roy Jones to be at home with family around him after learning he had incurable cancer.

Roy and his wife Sheila, of Berry Hill, Mansfield, met when they were 17 and had been married for 62 years. But after Roy’s diagnosis they knew last Christmas would be their final one together. 

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Nottinghamshire Hospice provided care to help him to stay at home throughout the festive period. He died in the new year, aged 84.

Sheila said. “Sheila said: “I thank the hospice from the bottom of my heart. I’m so grateful for what you did for us. You looked after him so very, very well. I can’t praise the hospice enough.

“Christmas will be very different this year without Roy. I still feel the warmth of him.”

After lockdown was announced in March, the hospice extended its services to provide more care in people’s homes across Nottinghamshire. It introduced a new Hospice Outreach and Discharge Support service (HODS) to prevent hospital admissions and help patients get discharged from hospital swiftly.

 “Our care is all the more crucial during the Coronavirus pandemic because it enables patients to stay at home at the end of their lives, keeping hospital beds free for Covid-19 patients,” Rowena added. “Please help us to support families like Sheila’s so they can spend their last Christmas together by supporting our appeal.”

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The hospice is urging supporters to back the Light up a Life appeal by:

  • Donating through https://www.nottshospice.org/light/
  • Supporting the hospice’s virtual ‘Light up a Life’ event where they can dedicate a light to remember a loved one
  • Lighting up the hospice tower for a night in memory of a loved one.
  • Requesting a song for the hospice Winter Warmers playlist which will be played to frontline staff at the hospice and can be downloaded
  • Purchasing a festive forget-me-not flower
  • Taking on a fundraising challenge.

All details available at https://www.nottshospice.org/light/

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