In addition to the day-to-day running costs and following the increase of inpatient beds from 17 to 21, the charity needs to urgently raise funds to ensure all beds on the inpatient unit are kept open and necessary improvements to the hospice’s three bedded bays can be made.
Over the next two years, the charity needs to raise an additional £1m on top of the £4.3m it needs to raise per year to ensure its services can continue to be provided. To keep the extra beds open, £250,000 needs to be raised this year and next year to fund extra nurses. Another £500,000 worth of improvements also needs to be made to the three bedded bays, including the addition of en-suite bathrooms to each bay to ensure patients dignity and privacy is maintained.
Esther Preston, director of fundraising and marketing, said: “We increased our inpatient beds to meet the growing demand for our specialist services however there is a real threat that without raising the extra funds and therefore offering these additional beds, we will have a waiting list.”
“We are also very proud that all of the services we provide are free but in order to continue with the work that we do we are calling on the local community to help us raise funds to keep our beds open.”
Alan Cooper, whose daughter Laura was cared for by Ashgate Hospicecare, said, “It is hard to believe Ashgate are struggling to raise the money it needs when you think about the excellent care they provide.”
“They offered her a room and they even put another bed so she was never left on her own. My son in law slept with her and we used to sit with her every day.”
Referrals to Ashgate’s inpatient unit went up by 19 per cent in 2013 and the charity is operating this year with a £250,000 deficit in order to meet the growing demand.
“One in three people are touched by hospice care so it is vital that we ask our community for their support,” Esther added.
“Our fundraising appeal will enable us to keep 21 beds open at the hospice, which we so desperately need to do.”
“We are calling on everyone to get involved by pledging to donate or raise just £50 over the next two years.”
“We wouldn’t be able to continue providing our specialist care without the help of local people, so thank you to everyone for their continued support. We look forward to talking to people on how they can help with the appeal.”
For further information about the appeal or to make a contribution call 01246 567250 or visit www.justgiving.com/urgentbedappeal.