COVID 19 Appeal: Working together to secure our future
By Dr Karen Steadman
Why Weldmar continues to need the support of the local community
Much has changed in the last few months. Lockdown restrictions were gradually eased, face coverings became mandatory at indoor public spaces and Covid-19 has become something of our everyday lives.
I do hope that you and your family are continuing to stay safe and well. But for us at Weldmar Hospicecare, a lot hasn’t changed. We’re still continuing to provide outstanding end of life care to patients throughout Dorset, and that has continued all throughout the pandemic. Our Inpatient Unit doors remain open, 24/7 and we were still able to be there for patients in the comfort of their own homes. And that has only been made possible because of your support.
My colleagues have continued to provide tailored and bespoke care for every patient throughout the pandemic, but the past few months have been challenging for them too. Wearing PPE throughout the day is something that we’ve all had to get used to doing to protect both our patients and ourselves. We’re also very proud to be one of the only hospices who have been able to continue allowing a small handful of visitors for each patient to still be permitted inside our Inpatient Unit. But this has also been challenging for the team as we’ve had to keep these numbers small and for essential visitors only.
I am concerned. Although we’ve been incredibly proud to continue our services throughout Covid-19, our funding has taken a significant downfall. We need the reassurance that we can continue our services, not just for the coming months but the years ahead, ensuring that we can be here for generations to come. Right now, the next few years are looking like a very challenging picture.
Although we have been able to reopen some of our retail shops, customer footfall is down, as the high street is struggling from the impact of Coronavirus. In turn, this means that our income from retail is much lower than anticipated.
We have now made the difficult decision to cancel all of our fundraising events and activities for the remainder of this year and it is likely that we will not be able to reintroduce some of them until Autumn 2021.
We anticipate that our fundraising and retail income will be at least £2 million lower than we budgeted for, which means that our care is going to cost us significantly more than we will be able to raise this year. And the next couple of years look concerning too. We need to act now to secure our services for the years to come.
I know that money is tight at the moment and completely understand if now is not the right time for you. But for the price of a cup of coffee (or less) per week, you will be securing our care for our community.
By setting up a small monthly regular donation, we will have the assurance that we can continue planning and delivering our services long into the future.
With restrictions still in place at our Inpatient Unit at the moment, we’re unable to invite you for a personalised tour, to see exactly how your support is making a difference. But, in return for your regular donation, we will send you a tailored virtual tour of the hospice plus a Weldmar pin badge for you to wear with pride. We will also make sure that you are kept updated of our work throughout the year (preferably via email to help save costs) and ensure that you will be the first to know of any new service developments or additions to our care.
We know that the demand for our services is only going to increase and as illnesses become even more complex, hospices have never been needed more than they are today.
Finally, I would like to say a very personal thank you. The hundreds of patients and loved ones that we have continued supporting over the last few months have received care and support, because of the support of the local communty. Every donation was a gift of care, compassion, dignity and respect. On behalf of all of our patients, thank you.
I would like to support Weldmar and spread the cost of care with a Regular Giving amount each month
Please use our online direct debit form now to set up a monthly, quarterly or annual gift to Weldmar Hospicecare. Or download, print, and send back a ‘paper’ copy using the Weldmar Hospicecare Direct Debit Form for this Appeal.