Hospice launches first urgent appeal in 30-year history

22 February 2021

Luton hospice launches first urgent appeal in their 30-year history

Keech Hospice Care, who celebrate 30 years of caring this year, are facing huge funding shortfalls as lockdown continues to have a devastating impact on the charity’s income.

As the hospice reach the first lockdown anniversary, their position is stark. It costs Keech Hospice Care around £6 million a year to provide their specialist care for adults and children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses. Around 70% of that income is generated by supporters so with all 33 charity shops closed and fundraising events cancelled, the hospice is facing a funding gap of around £800,000.

Liz Searle, CEO of Keech Hospice Care, said: “Right now, our charity is at a pivotal moment. We’re continuing to provide care for our seriously ill patients, and support their families and friends, but a year on from the original lockdown, we’re feeling the full impact of COVID-19,” Liz continued. “We’ve done everything we can to reduce costs, take advantage of government support and have raised funds virtually but, faced with a funding gap of around £800,000 as we plan for the year ahead, we’ve decided to take the difficult decision and ask the community who built our hospice 30 years ago to help us ensure we can keep Keech caring.”

Keech’s nurses and doctors continue to play a vital part in the coronavirus effort. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the NHS on the frontline and providing vital care for adults and children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses both at the hospice and in people’s homes. Wearing full PPE and dealing with an unprecedented number of patients it continues to be a challenging and exhausting environment for the team to care in.

Angie Shipley, Senior Staff Nurse Keech Hospice Care said: “COVID-19 has thrown a different dimension altogether on this, so not only are people coping with their incredibly awful illnesses anyway, but to have COVID on top of that, it affects our families, it affects our staff.”

The need for palliative care has never been greater, not just right now on the frontline but also in the future as the true long-term implications of the pandemic are realised. Delays in treatment coupled with an ageing population will result in an increased number of palliative patients needing the help of Keech Hospice Care who will play an integral part of the future recovery of the local area post pandemic.

“I know that right now is incredibly tough for everyone” continues Liz Searle, CEO of Keech Hospice Care “but if people are able to support us with a gift they can afford, it will help us close our funding gap of around £800,000 and meet the challenges together. This April marks 30 years since the hospice first opened through the support of our local community. Together over that time, we’ve achieved something incredible and today we’re asking that the community that built us help us to continue making the difference when it matters the most to our patients and their families.”

Any press enquiries (including interviews with Liz Searle, CEO of Keech Hospice Care) to Christine Crofts, Head of Marketing and Communications, on 07979 504084 / christine.crofts@keech.org.uk.

Image 1 keech hospice care nurse in full ppe detail