St Catherine's Hospice launches Regular Giving appeal - can you help?

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St Catherine‘s Hospice is appealing for hundreds of people to pledge to make regular donations to boost the charity’s economic resilience. The Chief Executive of the central Lancashire charity told Fiona Finch more about the appeal.

Each year St Catherine’s Hospice in central Lancashire helps 1,500 people and their families.

Now it is appealing to the public to help the hospice - on a regular basis.

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It has launched a Regular Giving campaign with the motto “Big Issues, Small Details, All The Difference.”

Chief Executive Lynn Kelly pictured in front of St Catherine's HospiceChief Executive Lynn Kelly pictured in front of St Catherine's Hospice
Chief Executive Lynn Kelly pictured in front of St Catherine's Hospice

The hospice is hoping to sign up 400 new regular donors, with all contributions large or small welcome.

Chief Executive Lynn Kelly explained that the Covid pandemic and the resultant downturn in income has brought home to the hospice the need for a reliable income stream, which will continue despite unforeseen circumstances and enable the hospice to plan ahead.

Lynn said: “It’s about us developing regular and resilient income streams that are able to cope with a fluctuating economic environment.”

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The hospice, which is located at St Catherine’s Park, Lostock Lane, Lostock Hall, near Preston, needs some £6m each year to finance its services and must raise £4m of that itself with the remaining £2m coming from the NHS. Last year income from donations and income from community fund raisers dropped by 50 per cent.

One of the publicity posters for the Big Issues Small Details All The Difference campaignOne of the publicity posters for the Big Issues Small Details All The Difference campaign
One of the publicity posters for the Big Issues Small Details All The Difference campaign

The Government provided an extra £1m to help Hospice funds, but Lynn says this was a once only donation and said: “The vast majority is raised through the generosity and support of local people.”

Income from the hospice’s shops and The Mill cafe and Community Hub at the hospice provide much needed revenue but this income was also hit. She said: “The shops and Mill did well when open, but they were closed for a lot of the past year. Our summer events have been cancelled for the second year running. We’re hoping to be able to do some events through autumn and winter - that’s still not 100 per cent certain at the present time. The pandemic really highlighted we need these resilient income streams that form the bedrock of our finances.”

She said any regular donation will be appreciated: “People are free to determine what they want and are able to give. People can give £3 a month, £5 a month, £75 a month - everything is absolutely welcome because all the little bits add up. It’s an investment in an ongoing relationship for the future which allows us to build and develop our services for local people.”

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The independent charity provides specialised palliative and end-of-life care for people in Chorley, Preston and South Ribble. Lynn said: “We have 19 inpatient beds but we help many more people in the community and demand is really rising there. I want to be able to expand our community provision because the demand is growing year on year.

“Our clinical nurse specialists who work in the community have upwards of 200 people on their list at any one time. A lot of people think of the hospice as a building but we actually provide more care for people out in the community. We also support more than 1,000 people with our 24/7 advice line and usually between 750 and a 1,000 professionals and students each year through training and education, which helps the specialist knowledge and skills of the hospice to reach more people in our communities.”

The Hospice has around 160 permanent staff and some 40 bank staff.

Lynn added: “We’ve never really done a campaign for regular giving. It’s really in recognition of the great need for resilience and stable income streams. It’s so necessary for the services we provide to have that regular income month on month.”

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Lynn stressed the hospice, which opened in 1985, continues to be immensely grateful to those who organise individual fundraising events which also bring in much needed income.

Big Issues, Small Details, All the Difference.

The regular giving campaign slogan ‘Big Issues, Small Details, All The Difference’ puts the spotlight on the variety of things big and small the hospice takes care of, and the impact this has on families.

Tracy Parkinson, in-patient unit manager at St Catherine’s, said: “We know through feedback from those we care for and their families that the small things – like having a pet to visit, enjoying a bubble bath or favourite meal, mean a lot to people at this time in their lives. Our job, as a hospice team, is to get the big issues under control, like ensuring someone is not in pain or struggling with other symptoms, so that they can enjoy these small things with their loved ones in comfort, and create precious memories together.”

* To sign up to give a regular monthly donation to St Catherine’s visit or call the hospice on 01772 629171 or see here

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