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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Hospice appeals for help to get through latest lockdown

* Chair of the board of trustees at Nightingale House Eluned Griffiths.

A hospice is appealing to the public to help it continue to provide free patient care for cancer patients and those with other life-limiting illnesses in this area.

Nightingale House Wrexham is encouraging more people to come forward and join its hospice lottery to inject much-needed cash into providing vital services for patients with chronic diseases including cancer, motor neurone disease and heart failure.

The hospice continues to improve its services and introduced a new direct referral service during the first lockdown. 

It also operates a 24/7 helpline for patients and their families who need support and guidance. 

As 80% of the hospice’s services are funded by donations and fundraising activities the Nightingale House weekly lottery is a major lifeline for generating income.

Last week’s announcement on an all-Wales lockdown until November 9 means all retail outlets and cafes have closed once again making the hospice's situation ever more precarious.  

Whilst Nightingale House was allocated a share of government cash to assist until previous income streams could be restored it did not receive all the funding it requires.

And it is unclear about what further money will be allocated to independent hospices in Wales during this latest national lockdown.

All face to face fundraising activities have either been abandoned or taken online due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result the lottery has become a beacon of hope for the hospice. 

Thanks to the generosity of almost 16,000 people who have already signed up the lottery raised £535,000 in 2019. It costs £3.4m per year to run Nightingale House.

Lottery manager Tracey Price said: “During these uncertain times playing the lottery in support of Nightingale House means so much to patients and their families as it is a vital source of income for us and provides consistency in our fundraising abilities to complement those organised events and other donations and fundraising efforts.”

Chair of the board of trustees Eluned Griffiths said: “The lottery has helped keep our heads just above water during the last seven months, providing essential cashflow for the hospice and remains a pivotal part of our fundraising, particularly as business support schemes disappear and we are left to face an uncertain financial future alone.

“The latest national lockdown for Wales means we will struggle once more as our overheads remain the same. 

"We appeal to the First Minister of Wales to release the rest of the funds promised to us earlier in the year, as so far we have only received approximately a third of these and also to ensure the charity sector is not forgotten during this uncertain period.

“We are so lucky to have wonderful supporters who are digging deep to help us get through this difficult period. If there are family members who already support the lottery we would urge them to encourage others to take part and take the message into their workplaces and tell colleagues and friends about the lottery’s positive impact on our hospice care.

“Encouraging more people to sign up would bring us a sense of relief and provide stability to all those who benefit from our services and our hard working staff who continue to provide the care and support that patients with chronic illnesses are able to access 365 days a year.”

The Nightingale House Lottery costs £1 per week with a cash first prize of £2,500, plus several other money prizes. To find out more contact the Lottery Team on 01978 316800.

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