Appeal as cost of living hits our hospice

Liz, Lucy and Collette first meeting at Garden House Hospice Care

Liz, Lucy and Collette first meeting at Garden House Hospice Care - Credit: Garden House Hospice Care

With the cost of care rapidly rising, Garden House Hospice Care is appealing to the community to help fund a few minutes of the vital services it provides.

Every day the Letchworth-based Hospice needs to generate £9,500 to fund its services - a 27 per cent increase in the last two years.

As well as soaring energy prices – up 50 per cent in the last year, with further rises due – and higher fuel costs for the vehicles driven by the community team, the charity has seen a 28 per cent growth in referrals.

To meet demand, new staff have been employed and it has recently expanded its day services into the Ernest Gardiner Centre in Letchworth. In addition, clinical teams received a pay rise last year in line with the NHS salary increases.

To help meet rising costs the hospice has launched an appeal, asking supporters to Fund a Few Minutes of its care.

Liz Kennedy, director of patient services at Garden House Hospice Care

Liz Kennedy, director of patient services at Garden House Hospice Care - Credit: Garden House Hospice Care

Liz Kennedy, director of patient services, said: “We keep a really close eye on our expenditure, but the cost of care is rising rapidly – we know our utility bills will continue to go up alone. We now need to raise £6.60 every minute to cover our full running costs, which as we continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic on fundraising, is a significant target.

“We know times are tight for everyone - the rising cost of living is affecting us all. That’s why we’re launching our Fund a Few Minutes Appeal, because at the hospice a few minutes really can make a difference. If everyone could help Fund a Few Minutes, together, you could fund days, even weeks of our care."

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A few minutes changed everything for Collette. Her mum, Elizabeth, had advanced dementia. She felt she had nowhere left to turn when she called Lucy, the hospice's Admiral Nurse who specialises in dementia care.

“Lucy listened. She talked to me, reassured me, and it was the first time we had a clear answer about how mum was," Collette recalled.

Their call prompted a series of actions from Lucy. She contacted Elizabeth’s GP, and planned to bring her into the hospice. 

To help Fund a Few Minutes, visit www.ghhospicecare.org.uk/minutes or call 01462 679540.