Hospice’s urgent appeal for help

“With your help, we’ll get through this crisis,” says Birmingham St Mary’s.

A chief executive from a Birmingham hospice is appealing for community support, after the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted its fundraising activities.

Tina Swani at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is urging the local community to “unite for hospice care” by raising funds or making donations to the charity, otherwise it risks “cutting back services at a time when they are needed most”.

In a plea posted to the Hospice’s Twitter account, the chief executive explained how the Hospice’s frontline staff are still caring for patients with life-limiting illness across Birmingham and Sandwell, some of whom are extremely ill, vulnerable and have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Tina also shared how the Hospice is working collaboratively with the NHS, care homes and other hospices, to help ease the tremendous pressures they are facing during the pandemic.

Responding to the video, Tina said: “Our main concern at the Hospice is that people living with complex and terminal conditions continue to get the vital care they need during these difficult circumstances. We’re still running our urgent and essential services – such as providing around the clock care on our Inpatient Unit or offering critical support in people’s homes – but we can only continue to do this if our local communities raise funds or make donations.”

Following government restrictions on social gatherings, the Hospice has had to postpone all its fundraising events and community activities, as well as temporarily close its 17 charity shops.

Recent guidelines following bans on social gatherings also mean that supporters cannot hold their own events to raise funds.

Tina continued: “Heartbreakingly, at a time when people desperately need our services, we’re losing out on funding. It costs £23,288 to run our vital services every day, 60 per cent of which must be raised through generous voluntary donations. That’s nearly £14,000 every day which needs to be raised through fundraising – so you can see why current circumstances could have a big impact on our services.”

As an alternative to mass fundraising events, the Hospice is encouraging supporters to take on its virtual challenges instead. These include a virtual 40-mile walk, 100-mile bike ride and a chocolate-themed run. All events can be completed in people’s own time and in a place of their choosing – meaning they can be done in line with current government advice.

Alternatively, the Hospice is also appealing for donations which can be made online.

Tina added: “The truth is, we need support from our communities more than ever before, to help us get through this crisis and care for people when they need it most. Whether you take part in a virtual challenge or make a donation, please know that every pound you raise or give will ensure more people and their loved ones receive support during these uncertain times.”

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice provides vital care to people living with life-limiting illness, as well as support partners, family members, loved ones and carers too. It is Birmingham’s largest independent hospice, supporting 500 people every day across Birmingham and Sandwell.

To support Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk