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Together we will protect our local hospice

A local man is calling on the local community to safeguard the future of a Carlisle based hospice as the coronavirus situation continues to impact their fundraising efforts.

Hospice supporter, Don Marks, is championing a campaign to raise vital income for Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice who have seen fundraising events cancelled, shop closures and income drop due to Covid-19. The money raised through these events and the local community helps the charity to provide the highest standards of care, support and activities to local people with life limiting illnesses.

Don, from Carlisle, explains, “I was first introduced to the hospice three years ago by one of their volunteers, Jim Boyle, who invited me to look around the Sensory Room in Jigsaw which needed new flooring and I offered to lay it for them. When I visited the hospice I realised that they needed our help after seeing the important work they do.

“Following my first visit to Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw my fundraising began and in the last three years I have completed a range of fundraising and helped with various projects. This includes the Ride the Lights in Blackpool, helping Carlisle United to send a family to the Winter Wonderland in London and helping to create a pharmacy room and office in Jigsaw as well as re-laying the carpets in their Butterfly Room.

“Back in March I was made aware of the financial position the hospice is in and I want to help raise money to protect the future of the hospice. I am calling on the people of Cumbria to help and support in any way that they can.”

Coronavirus has had a devastating impact across the country, with no area left untouched. As a specialist healthcare provider, Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw have treated local people with the virus, ensuring every family receives end of life care filled with compassion and dignity.

At a time when fundraising activities have stopped and their charity shops are beginning to re-open, the Cumbrian charity is in the unfortunate situation whereby the need for specialist, compassionate care is increasing but charitable income has taken a drastic downturn.

Patricia Livsey, Chief Executive at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, explained “The care provided at the hospice is completely free of charge for those who need to access it – families, friends, neighbours, colleagues. However, it costs over £450 per hour to deliver this care, and as a local charity, we have to fund the first £350.

“Our income was severely affected by the closure of all our shops in March, with only half our shops currently re-opened. Many of the hospice’s events and fundraising in the local community have been cancelled, postponed or scaled back compared to previous years and there are questions about whether 2021 will be much the same.

“Without the emergency funding and government assistance the hospice would have suffered a six figure income loss in the first 5 months of Covid alone. The demands on our Adult In-Patient unit have continued throughout the pandemic. It’s important to recognise the flexibility and support of staff in meeting the extra demand placed on them under what is already challenging circumstances; supporting acutely ill patients who have been admitted to the hospice whilst providing arms length support and contact with the patients and families in Day Hospice and Jigsaw.

“The hospice is needed more than ever by the local community and in 2021 Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw will be celebrating 30 years of care in the local community.”

Every day the multi-disciplinary care team at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw make a difference to the lives of local people with life limiting illnesses. This includes offering respite care, end of life care, bereavement support and much more.

A Jigsaw family explained, “Having a child with profound and complex needs is hard on the whole family, its hard to hear your child is eligible for hospice care. From the money we stepped into Jigsaw we felt a sense of relief, we had found somewhere we fitted, somewhere Holly could have fun, be so well cared for and make memories.”

Don concluded, “I really want people to support the whole hospice as without the money the hospice will not survive. I am urging people to put themselves in the position of the families of the children in Jigsaw, without the children’s hospice they would have to care for their children with life limiting illnesses 24/7. Or without the hospice what options would people have for the last days of their life?

“From my initial conversations people are keen to help. Everyone locally has a link with the hospice and the hospice is by the community for the community.”

There are many ways the local community can help to protect the future of their local hospice. From making a one-off donation to setting up a fundraising event, every donation received will help to secure the future of the local hospice. To find out more please click here, email fundraising@edenvalleyhospice.org or call the Fundraising Team on 01228 810801.