Hospice set to lose £300k in third national lockdown

Frank Noble, chief executive of St Peter's Hospice.

Frank Noble, chief executive of St Peter's Hospice. - Credit: Archant

A charity which supports people with life-limiting conditions across North Somerset could lose a further £300,000 during the third lockdown. 

St Peter’s Hospice launched its When It Matters Most campaign - with the backing of actor Stephen Merchant - in October, to appeal for help to plug a £2million shortfall. 

The charity, which serves Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, has been unable to raise money through fundraising events and has seen its charity shops close, leading to a huge shortage in funds. 

As a result, it has dropped the number of beds in the inpatient unit from 15 to 10 and closed its day care centre. 

Stephen Merchant visited St Peter's Hospice to launch its year-long fundraising campaign.

Stephen Merchant visited St Peter's Hospice to launch its year-long fundraising campaign. - Credit: Archant

Supporters have stepped up over the past few months to help raise much-needed funds, but the charity is now facing further losses due to the national lockdown. 

The hospice’s chief executive, Frank Noble, said: “We lose about £300,000 a month in lockdown.

"It does look like it’s going to be longer than a month, so we’re certainly going to be about £300,000 down, or more.

“Through the first lockdown, the Government was fantastic and provided grant support to hospices and really got us through. But that support ended in July.  

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“In the second lockdown they promised support, but it never came, and now we’re into the third. 

“We launched the campaign in late autumn and the response to that has been incredible. It was beginning to pull us out of the hole, but lockdown has pulled us down again.” 

The hospice’s community nurses, the hospice at home teams and psychological support services are all still running – through face-to-face appointments and virtual sessions - and the inpatient unit is also still open.

Mr Noble added: “The staff are pretty exhausted. Christmas is always the busiest time for us, and also the most challenging because it tends to be quite upsetting and Christmas exacerbates that.  

“So, the other challenge we have is to try trying to keep the teams going.” 

St Peter’s Hospice has been overwhelmed by the amount people have donated to the campaign so far, which means it is not expecting the £2million deficit to increase.

The charity is appealing for people to continue supporting it through the campaign, via its eBay shop and when its shops are able to open again. 

Mr Noble said: “We just want to thank everyone for their support, which has been absolutely amazing.  

“We are only here thanks to people of North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.” 

To find out how you can support the hospice, log on to stpetershospice.org