A lead nurse at Eden Valley Hospice is appealing to local people to help secure the charity’s future following the pandemic.
Suzanne Garbarino says the hospice, which includes the children’s wing Jigsaw, has been heavily impacted.
The Cumberland News last week launched the Help Our Hospice appeal to find 300 people to make a gift to the hospice in their will to help secure its future.
Suzanne, who is clinical lead for adults and children, says the pandemic has had a devastating impact on income generation.
“All the usual events and charity fundraising have seen a huge reduction. Also, the closure of our charity shops has decreased income. This is the hospice’s 30th anniversary year but it is one of its toughest,” she said.
Eden Valley Hospice, on Durdar Road in Carlisle, relies on donations from members of the public for 80 per cent of its funding, and needs £3m in donations from ordinary people every year.
The hospice cares for adults and children with life-limiting illnesses, including in-patient and end of life care, and also supports patients’ families and loved ones.
Suzanne says the pandemic has also affected nursing and care.
“One of the most difficult things we have encountered is having to restrict visiting,” she said. “In palliative care and children’s palliative care, it’s not something we have ever had to do.
“Usually if you want 20 visitors you can have them, but we have had to limit visitors under Government restrictions.
“That has presented huge challenges for patients, and also it has been really difficult for the staff.”
Suzanne says virtual conversations cannot make up for face-to-face support.
“People have been in contact with their loved ones from around the world but it’s not the same as sitting holding someone’s hand.
“And PPE has made that difficult too. Gloves, an apron and mask make communication much more difficult,” she says.
“It’s been really hard on staff. It has been emotionally difficult for everybody. Staff are very tired.”
People can help ensure the hospice’s long-term future by leaving a gift in their will.
“Because there is still so much uncertainty, a gift in a will is guaranteed income without having to worry about lockdowns and restrictions,” said Suzanne.
“If people can leave some money in their will to the hospice it will help secure its future regardless of what else is going on around.”
Despite the difficulties of the past year Eden Valley Hospice has continued to provide its high-quality care.
Suzanne says to Cumberland News readers: “If you can, remember us and keep thinking about the hospice.
“The care we are giving doesn’t stop in a world pandemic even if our income generation stops. We are still here providing help for patients and families.”
How to support the Help our Hospice appeal
If you already have a will you can ask your solicitor to ensure it includes a donation to the hospice.
If you have yet to organise a will now is the perfect time to make one and include Eden Valley Hospice as a beneficiary.
Visit www.edenvalleyhospice.org for more details and to pledge your support.