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Hospice launches urgent appeal amid concern for its future over £1.4m funding shortfall

Demand for the charity’s services is at an all-time high, says its chief executive
Demand for the charity’s services is at an all-time high, says its chief executive

OAKHAVEN Hospice has appealed to the community to rally round as it faces a £1.4m drop in income from the pandemic shutting its shops and cancelling fundraisers.

The Pennington charity has seen demand for its services rise sharply while its revenue has plummeted – raising concern for the future of the palliative and end-of-life care services provided by its team of nurses, doctors, counsellors and physiotherapists.

Chief executive Andrew Ryde has now announced an urgent appeal, saying demand for the charity’s services is at an all-time high.

“Government support for hospices will not continue and it will take time for things to return to normal,” he told the A&T.

“Our main concern is for the future of the hospice, as we don’t know how long it will take for our income to return to any kind of normality – we are asking for the support of our community.”

Oakhaven chief executive Andrew Ryde
Oakhaven chief executive Andrew Ryde

Mr Ryde said Oakhaven had expanded its services to alleviate pressure on the NHS during the course of the pandemic, driving up its support in the community and doubling the number of beds it provides.

“The last 12 months have taken their toll on our income streams,” he said.

Lucy Smith, director of patient services, praised Oakhaven staff, who she said are still “very much in the thick of it”.

“They are tired but determined,” she said.

“Determined to stay working tirelessly for our patients and determined to stay flexible to ever-changing methods of working.

“I have been humbled to see how hard the team has worked, and when we increased our bed numbers, so many staff said they would work extra hours.

“We also had recently retired clinicians and volunteers offering to come back and help. The level of support has been incredible.”

Looking to the future, Ms Smith said the impact of the pandemic would be “long-lasting” and the need for the charity’s care and support is “likely to increase”.

“Our work goes on supporting people who are facing end of life, many of whom are isolated and alone,” she continued.

“We are asking for support now so that when we come out of this pandemic, we are able to continue supporting our community as we always have.”

To donate, go to www.oakhavenhospice.co.uk/appeal-donation or send a cheque made payable to Oakhaven Hospice to Urgent Care Appeal, Oakhaven Hospice, Lower Pennington Lane, Lymington, SO41 8ZZ.

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