Chief executive Helen McVey has made it clear that the hospice is still providing care but that its funding is about to be severely damaged by the outbreak and has therefore launched its Keep Your Hospice Open appeal.
Already about £1million of the £4.2million annual running costs at the hospice have been lost or postponed as most fundraising activity has been forced to come to a halt.
The Pendleside Pub Walk which raises around £100,000 and the Corporate Challenge which brings in £150,000 have both been put back to later in the year.
All 10 of Pendleside’s charity shops have closed because 80 per cent of the volunteers who staff them are aged 70 and over and are being encouraged to self-isolate for up to 12 weeks.
Helen said: “We are working hard to ensure our Inpatient Unit which has 10 beds, Hospice at Home and Family Support Centre services can continue as normal for as long as possible.
“These services help to reduce the need for NHS intervention and we desperately need to keep them operational at a time when the NHS is at breaking point and would not cope with the absorption of additional services.
“Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our Day Services Unit because the people we care for fall into the vulnerable category who again need to self isolate. All patients and their families have been contacted by the hospice to ensure they are being supported in the best way possible.”
Pendleside’s non-clinical staff are undertaking training to allow them to support the Inpatient nurses with tasks such as changing beds, helping patients to wash and dress and operating hoists.
This is to allow the nurses to focus on nursing during this unpredictable time.
Helen added: “As has always been our mission since we opened our doors in 1988, we’re determined to be there for people in Burnley and Pendle who need our services.
"But we desperately need people’s support for our Keep Your Hospice Open campaign to make this happen.
“We are aiming to raise £1 million to help us be there for anyone who needs us at this time of national crisis.
“In light of the huge financial losses we will face in the coming months, we need the support of our community now more than ever. Please consider supporting us in any way you can.
“We would like to thank our staff, volunteers and supporters for standing by us during these unprecedented, difficult times.”
The hospice has opened a JustGiving Page - which can be found here.
Please contact Leah Hutchinson on 01282 440140 or email the hospice at [email protected] with any queries you may have or offers of support.