“Five pounds means as much to us as £500”.
The words of delighted Trinity Hospice fund-raising manager Linzi Young, after The Gazette’s Hospice Heroes campaign raked in a massive £13,288 in just a week.
And bosses at the hospice, which needs the money to undertake vital restoration work at the centre, are keen to stress any donation – big or small – from readers is making a massive difference.
Last Wednesday we revealed a huge appeal to raise the money for Trinity Hospice and Brian House children’s hospice to help bring the buildings up to date and fit for the future.
Trinity, on Low Moor Road, Bispham, is 28 years old, and a lot of the furniture and decor is original, looking tired and in need of updating.
Brian House was added to the site 17 years ago, and while it has had some work, many of the rooms are in desperate need of refurbishment.
Earlier this year, the Department of Health announced the hospices were to receive £280,000, and with the work costing £500,000, there’s a £200,000 shortfall.
And thanks to our Hospice Heroes Campaign, we are already making massive strides to help fill that gap.
Linzi said £9,000 had come from the hospice’s newsletter appeal to supporters, and money is already coming in through The Gazette’s text appeal. At the weekend, Blackpool FC supporters donated to charity in return for one of 10,000 Paul Ince masks produced by The Gazette in partnership with Radio Wave.
That raised £4,700 to be split between Hospice Heroes and Variety: A Children’s Charity.
As soon as we launched Hospice Heroes, one gentleman got straight on the phone to the hospice to donate what he could afford.
Linzi said: “He told us he wished he could give us more, but he could only afford £5. That £5 means as much to us as £500.”
People have been showing their support in their droves using our online and telephone donation lines as well as by text and by sending in cheques.
Linzi added: “The Gazette has given us a massive awareness boost and momentum has built up quickly.
“It’s been an amazing few days. We’ve had a lot of people phoning up and giving us a lot of really nice comments.”
And importantly, people are beginning to come up with ideas about how to support the campaign, which will see a massive refurbishment with the help of The Gazette’s appeal.
At Trinity, the main element of the work involves creating four new single rooms with en-suite facilities, as well as replacing warped and draughty windows and corridors easier to navigate.
Plans also include making Brian House brighter, safer and more appropriate for the changing needs of children visiting with challenging behaviour.
The windows will be replaced, a leaking roof fixed and the bedrooms brought up to date.
It is a major task and will cost around £500,000 to bring the hospices up to modern standards.
Bosses were given a major boost with a £280,000 grant by the Department of Health, but there is still a shortfall of £200,000.
That’s where our Hospice Heroes appeal comes in – and we are looking for our army of readers to do something heroic for our local hospice.