Emergency funding appeal launched to keep two Sue Ryder hospices open in the East

A second emergency funding appeal to keep the Sue Ryder hospices in Peterborough and Bedford running through the winter and beyond has been launched. 

The charity says it's facing a huge funding shortfall of £2 million a month.

Fundraising events have stopped during the pandemic and charity shops have closed for a second time because of the lockdown.  

In April, the charity warned it was on the "brink of closure" and the country “will lose its hospices” without urgent funding.

Sue Ryder has been impacted heavily by the coronavirus outbreak with the charity’s high street shops having to close

The charity runs Thorpe Hall in Peterborough and St John's in Bedford.

It costs £55 million a year to keep the services going, but without funds, the palliative care charity said it will be forced to close its hospices and stop caring for people in their own homes.

It's appealing to the public to support its fundraising campaign called 'We can't stop'.

"Coronavirus has hit us hard", Allison Mann, Hospice Director of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice and Sue Ryder St John's Hospice, said.

"We received a wonderful response from our supporters to our emergency appeal earlier in the year. This, paired with the emergency funding that we received from the government, covered our funding shortfall until the end of June 2020.

"Unfortunately however, our struggle continues. As we head into the winter months and coronavirus cases continue to rise we are expecting an increase in people needing end of life care.

"None of us expected this pandemic to go on for so long and clearly a monthly shortfall of £2 million is unsustainable for any charity, which is why we need to ask the public to help us."

Other hospices are struggling too, including Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes, who have seen their fundraising income drop by 50% during the pandemic.

Despite efforts to fundraise, their usual summer events were all cancelled, which hugely impacted their revenue stream.