Isabel Hospice launches Fighting Fund appeal as coronavirus sees donations fall

PUBLISHED: 11:58 26 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:18 28 April 2020

Isabel Hospice are in need of funds after being heavily impacted by the coronavirus. Picture: Isabel Hospice

Isabel Hospice are in need of funds after being heavily impacted by the coronavirus. Picture: Isabel Hospice

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WGC-based charity Isabel Hospice has launched a Fighting Fund appeal, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its income, to continue to care for local people.

A nursing assistant from Isabel Hospice. Picture: Isabel HospiceA nursing assistant from Isabel Hospice. Picture: Isabel Hospice

The charity, which provides end-of-life care across eastern Hertfordshire has been forced to cancel fundraising activity and temporarily shut its 18 shops and eBay store.

Isabel Hospice relies heavily on these sources of income to provide specialist care both in patients own homes as well as at their in-patient unit.

The hospice is currently caring for COVID-19 patients and has opened up its bereavement support service to families who have suffered a loss due to the coronavirus.

It has also opened up a helpline for staff in care homes to support them as they care for vulnerable people in the community.

A senior therapist from Isabel Hospice. Picture: Isabel HospiceA senior therapist from Isabel Hospice. Picture: Isabel Hospice

Elizabeth Paske, director of clinical care at Isabel Hospice, explained: “It is my privilege to lead the nursing, medical and support teams at Isabel Hospice.

“Today, in these challenging, worrying times I am asking for your urgent help in supporting incredibly vulnerable people, as well as those who love them and those who care for them.

“The coronavirus crisis has hit every part of our national care system very hard – and it’s no different for the nursing and support teams at Isabel Hospice.

“Every member of our team is working incredibly hard, over extended, often gruelling hours, to give everyone we see the expert, compassionate care they deserve.

“We are still caring for people with life-limiting conditions in our in-patient unit. But we’ve also just opened six additional beds which may well be needed for those who have contracted COVID-19, but who, tragically may not survive the disease.

“Nursing a COVID-19 patient is challenging and exhausting – but we’re still determined to give everyone the dignity of a peaceful death.

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“Our team is on the front line of care – but we are a charity, not part of the NHS, and we rely on the support of our community to contribute to the costs of care.

“We need your help to fund our hospice at home care team. There’s been an increase in those who need expert care in their own home.

“Our nursing team are continuing to offer that care – but they are also spending extra time training carers and loved ones to look after them too, in case they cannot be there when needed.

“In recent days we have opened a special telephone helpline to support staff in care homes who are now forced to offer end-of-life care to their residents, with little experience or training.

“My colleagues in our Living Well team in the Living Well Hub in Hall Grove, WGC, cannot welcome patients now – but they are calling them regularly and have created a bank of online resources for people living at home.

“Isabel’s bereavement team are reaching people through video calls and on the telephone. And we have just announced that we have opened our arms to support every family in our community, including those that have died as a result of COVID-19 – not just those who have been in our care.

“Finally, we need your help to place us – even if only virtually – by the side of a grieving family member.

“These are the extraordinary efforts the Isabel Hospice team are making for our community. We are all prepared to work many extra hours, to do whatever it takes, to give everyone the care and attention we would all want for our own loved ones.

“But we cannot face this challenge alone. Isabel Hospice is a charity and our services exist only because we receive support and funding from people like you. As I’m sure you realise, we have seen our fundraising income decimated over the last few weeks.

“So, on behalf of everyone at Isabel Hospice, I am asking for your urgent help to get us through the next few months – to keep us caring for local people who have never needed us more. Please, give what you can today to our emergency Fighting Fund.

“Your donation today could pay for a highly trained nurse to ease a COVID-19 patient through their final hours – in peace and free from pain. Your gift could help to deliver care to someone in their own home or in a care home. Your gift could fund the call to support grieving family members.

“Thank you in advance for your help. I hope that you and your loved ones keep well and stay safe.”

To find out more or to make a donation visit isabelhospice.org.uk/fightingfund or call 01707 382500.


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