Published: 10:14, 03 April 2020
| Updated: 10:36, 03 April 2020
ellenor hospice, in Northfleet, provides care to more than 3,000 patients and their families every year, and that number is rising.
Hospices are facing a critical funding crisis due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Vikki Harding, ellenor’s chief executive, said: “We have never experienced anything like the coronavirus.
"We have accelerated our work to help people stay safe, informed and connected.
"We are, of course, urging everyone to do all that is needed to look after themselves and their loved ones and to follow all the government instructions regarding protection."
ellenor needs to raise £7m each year to continue to provide its vital care services.
Tim Hammond, ellenor’s finance director, said “Over the next three months, we estimate, without emergency financial and local support, our income will decline by £1.1m.
"The majority of this comes from the generosity of the people in our local community and there has already been a huge drop in the fundraising income that pays for the vast majority of our work."
A summer’s worth of fundraising activities and events have been cancelled following government guidelines.
As a result, ellenor has also had to close all its shops –except the one inside Darent Valley Hospital, after hospital staff asked the charity to keep it open for them.
Vikki said: “Many of our hospice patients are now part of the vulnerable community and our responsibility is to re-think and adapt the way we care for and support local people, so we can still be there to provide the expert support services they need."
Today, ellenor has launched an emergency fighting fund and has asked that if you support the goals they share for local people – and you can spare it – to make a donation.
Linda Coffey, ellenor’s director of clinical care, said: “This fighting fund will help to keep ellenor’s care services going, keep myself and my healthcare professional colleagues by the sides of our patients.
"If you can help today, our promise to you is that we will do all in our power to continue to give the best possible care and support to adults who come to the hospice – and to the children we will reach at home. Thank you."
The charity's plea for help follows the recent success of raising £36,000 from an Accumulator Challenge.
Organisations from across the county took part.
Broadditch Farm Shop, at Southfleet, were crowned champions for the second year running, raising a total of £5,673.
The accumulator saw 45 organisations tasked with turning a £50 investment into as much money as possible over three months.
Sponsored by Studio 44, the groups invested their cash into a variety of creative, original fundraising and entrepreneurial activities to generate a profit for the charity.
However, due to the shut down of many shops and activities, it is uncertain when fundraisers like the Accumulator Challenge can take place once more.
For more information about ellenor hospice or to donate visit www.ellenor.org/emergencyfund
More by this authorMegan Carr