Prospect Hospice has been overwhelmed by the support local people have shown for its ‘Help us to support you’ appeal which was launched on May 12. Over £1million was raised in the first two months. This money has enabled the hospice to continue to look after some of the most vulnerable members of our community and to increase the size and scope of its services during the Covid 19 outbreak and lockdown.
In her open letter to supporters chief executive Irene Watkins said: “The hospice you know and love is still supporting your community, but to respond to the current needs for Covid-19 we have had to dramatically change and increase the size and scope of our services.
This means we are supporting people in their homes on a scale of operation we have never attempted before, at a time when income is all but drying up now that all community activities and events have been cancelled/postponed and all our shops closed.”
The hospice responded to the Covid 19 crisis by taking more of its specialistcare out into the community. Following this change in service operation and at the same time seeing a sharp decline in donations, the charity identified there would be a gap of £2million in their funds this year due to the pandemic.
Just over two months later, the charity is delighted to announce that it has already raised £1,019,000 towards the £2,000,000 predicted shortfall. It appealed to local people with a letter for support, made applications to receive emergency government funding and applied to Trusts and Foundations for additional support.
Sheryl Crouch, head of income at Prospect Hospice, said: “We couldn’t have predicted the response we’ve had from our supporters and to know that we’ve raised over half of the funds we so desperately need in the space of just ten weeks is incredible.
We know that the hospice has had a great impact on many local people and it’s heart-warming that they’re supporting us at this time so that we can be there for others who need us now and in the future. Support from local authorities and money from national government recognising the importance of hospice care has also been gratefully received.
We’re not out of the woods yet though. £1million is brilliant but we need to raise the same again in additional income over the next few months to ensure our services continue and adapt to what our patients need in these changing and testing times.
With our shops re-opening teamed with the thousands of donations of pre-loved goods we’ve received, this is certainly positive news for the hospice but our events remain postponed/cancelled for 2020 so we really need the support of local people to help us raise these funds in any way they can.”
People are choosing to support the hospice in a number of ways including joining the hospice’s own lottery, buying from their shops, creating their own sponsored activity, holding online fundraising events with their friends and family, and even choosing to leave the hospice a gift in their will.
Those wishing to donate directly to the hospice can do so at www.prospect-hospice.net/donate. Prospect Hospice is also holding a 40th Anniversary raffle in celebration of its 40th year. Cash prizes of up to £2000 are on offer. Tickets cost £1 each and are available until Monday October 5 from www.prospect-hospice.net/raffle
In October, November and December, Prospect Hospice is launching a virtual Ironman Triathlon Challenge to raise funds. The challenge will entail a marathon, a bike ride and a swimbut you don’t have to do them all. If you don’t fancy all three and an Ironman Triathlon medal you can still go for just one medal or maybe even two. Visit the website above to find out more.
And in 2021 Prospect Hospice hopes to be able to run its popular annual fundraising event – the Starlight Walk on Saturday June 26 on the streets of Swindon, this time with a ‘back to the eighties’ theme. The mini version of this event, Kids Starlight Walk, will take place on Sunday 7th March 2021.
Lastly, for those old enough to remember the TV programme, you’ll be excited to hear that Prospect Hospice will be hosting Swindon’s first ever ‘It’s a Knockout’ event on Sunday 18th July 2021. The event will see teams play a range of games, which usually involve dressing up, or getting wet, or both, throughout the day to win points.
For more information on all of these events visit: www.prospect-hospice.net