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Coronavirus Kent: Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford at risk of closure

A hospice is at risk of closing because of a funding crisis bought on by the coronavirus.

Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford is appealing to the public for donations, after its fundraising stream dried up, due to events being cancelled and its charity shops closing.

The charity, which supports patients and their relatives throughout Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, needs to raise £324,300 every month to provide care.

Almost all of this comes from fundraising events, its charity shops, and donations.

However, under Government orders, all mass gatherings have been banned and non-essential stores shut.

Sarah Pugh, hospice chief executive said: “Our services have always been very dependent on the support of our local community, but most of this income has vanished overnight.”

The charity, founded in 1991, is currently using its reserves to continue to support terminally ill people through this difficult time, but these savings will run out later this year if it doesn’t receive help soon.

The Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford
The Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford

Ms Pugh said: “Our doctors, nurses and support teams are continuing to help more than 880 terminally ill patients and their families, both in their homes and in the hospice inpatient unit.

"Every day more of our local population will be diagnosed with a terminal illness and will be referred to our care. We know that some people will die before their time because of the coronavirus and we want them to also receive the compassion, comfort and dignity which our hospice provides.

"Sadly, we also know that many more people will need the support of our bereavement services, as families and friends will be left devastated by the sudden loss of those they love and by not being able to say goodbye properly.

“We understand that times are hard for many at the moment, but ask you to please give what you can.”

To donate to the hospice, click here or call 01622 790195.

Postal donations can be sent to Heart of Kent Hospice, Preston Hall, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7PU.

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