The rising cost of living has led to hospices across the UK being called on to raise more money than ever before, to continue to provide care and support services to terminally ill patients and their families.
Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice (GBCH) was featured on BBC Breakfast (5 July) in a discussion about the rising costs of living and the impact on the hospice and staff. The feature was in response to Hospice UK figures which show that hospices across the UK collectively now need to raise an additional £100million to cover costs. This equates to approximately £500,000 per hospice, putting a strain on hundreds of hospices in the UK, including GBCH.
A primary issue for GBCH is around increased need for support as patients struggle financially; staffing shortages across the healthcare system and the need to pay competitive salaries in order to retain as many staff as possible in these challenging times. Another key issue is the need to cover the high fuel costs for their staff to travel to work and to visit patients and their families in the Greenwich and Bexley community.
To recover the shortfall, GBCH is proactively exploring new and different ways to raise funds. But at a time when supporters are also impacted, that is proving to be a challenge.
Kate Heaps, Hospice Chief Executive said: “Our costs are mainly wrapped up in staff so it is quite difficult to make any cuts. We rely so much on our staff to give the vital care we provide. It is very difficult and we have to think of new ways to raise money instead.
“People are still very generous when it comes to donations but, we are having to find new and different kinds of ways for people to donate through fundraising activities.
“We know people still want to support hospices. For example, our charity shops are doing very well at the moment because people are needing to shop in charity shops rather than on the general high street.”
Now more than ever, the hospice is relying on the generosity of our supporters to make sure that we can continue to provide vital care and support to patients at a time when they need it the most.
To find out more about how you can donate or support the hospice through fundraising activities, our shops and volunteering visit communityhospice.org.uk