Comedian Stephen Merchant appeals for people to back hospice’s fundraising campaign
PUBLISHED: 17:28 08 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:02 09 October 2020
Actor and comedian Stephen Merchant visited St Peter’s Hospice to launch a year-long fundraising campaign to help the charity plug a £2million shortfall.
The hospice has been devastated by the impact of Covid-19 with all major fundraising events postponed and the temporary closure of its charity shops.
The charity has made a number of cuts to try to make up the shorfall, including dropping the number of beds from 15 to 10 and closing its day care centre.
However, it still expects to be £2million short this year and the charity is launching its When It Matters Most campaign to protect the vital services it provides to patients with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Stephen Merchant, who grew up in Bristol, is an avid supporter of the hospice after his grandmother and a close family friend were cared for by charity.
Speaking at the launch, he said: “Hospices are one of those places you don’t think about until it impacts you. The tragic thing is, it impacts so many people and given it’s the only adult hospice in Bristol, it’s vital we keep it going and support it however we can.
“It’s incredibly tough times and lots of people are stretched. I’m very privileged – I don’t have to go out there and be on the frontline and my job is quite safe.
“My biggest worry is, can I find a face mask to fit my giant head?
“I do understand some people who read this are worried about their next pay cheque. But for those who feel they can contribute, I hope they will.”
All of St Peter’s Hospices services are provided free of charge to patients and they support around 3,000 patients and their families from across North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire every year.
The hospice’s chief executive Frank Noble, said: “The hospice exists because of the generosity of our supporters and we have never needed you more.
“Our ability to help those at home, those in need of specialist care and those who need support through bereavement during these extraordinarily difficult times is diminishing as every week goes by.
“Making decisions that impact our services is not easy. Every decision we take is guided by the aim of minimising the impact on patients. The public’s support now is more vital than ever as we move through uncertain times.”
The hospice is appealing for people to do whatever they can to raise funds – by volunteering, making a donation, visiting the charity shops or holding fundraising activities.
People can donate at the charity’s shops, or online at www.stpetershospice.org/make-a-donation
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