While preparing to cope with the impact of Coronavirus on its end of life care and bereavement services over the coming weeks, St Elizabeth Hospice has launched an urgent appeal to the public to support their local hospice in light of all fundraising events being postponed and all 31 retail shops closing.
The clinical staff at St Elizabeth are working in partnership with the NHS and other partners at speed to significantly expand services both in the community and at the hospice in response to Coronavirus, whilst continuing to care for patients with non-Covid end of life and palliative care needs.
A new rapid response co-ordination centre has been created in the past week to cope with the expected increase in demand for clinical advice and end of life care in the community, doubling the capacity of the hospice’s existing OneCall telephone advice helpline.
Last year, the hospice cared for over 3,000 Suffolk patients and their families at a cost of £10.5m, of which 75% was raised by the community through the shops and local fundraising – income-generating activities which are now impossible due to social distancing and self-isolation.
Chief Executive Ru Watkins has called on the local community to support the hospice’s new “Here Together” appeal to highlight the role of St Elizabeth at the clinical frontline of the current pandemic and to make sure that its end of life care can continue unaffected when the crisis is over: “Every family who has come into contact with our consultants, doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers over the years knows how dedicated they are to our local community. We are still here with our patients delivering the care they need today so ask everyone to support our efforts together.”
With all fundraising events postponed or cancelled, many supporters are looking for alternative ways to support the hospice. As local supporter Wendy Goddard says, “St Elizabeth Hospice was there for me and my family when my daughter Zoe sadly passed away and their support was outstanding. Last month I was due to hold a Charity Night for 300 people to raise funds to support the hospice but sadly this has had to be postponed. I would ask you to do what you can in this time of need to support our local hospice together.”
The “Here Together” appeal is being launched across the hospice’s social media platforms to raise awareness of St Elizabeth’s frontline role in continuing to care for some of Suffolk’s most vulnerable patients throughout the pandemic and our shared commitment as a community to protecting its vital services today and tomorrow.
To donate to the appeal, visit the hospice Just Giving appeal page https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/SEHCoronavirusAppeal or call the hospice on 01473 723600.