Annual fundraising appeal underway

A hospice, which has cared for the community tirelessly through the pandemic, has launched an annual fundraising appeal as it enters its 37th year of operations.

Known supporters of St Teresa’s Hospice have received a letter from former Chief Executive Jane Bradshaw, her last before she retired after 25 years of sterling service.

The direct mail initiative will be complemented by an online appeal to potential supporters seeking regular contributions to help the Hospice meet its £3m a year running costs, as it provides end of life care to people and support for their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

Mrs Bradshaw said: “We have just come through the worst two years in the Hospice’s history where we witnessed all fundraising efforts curtailed by the pandemic. Our staff worked on regardless and the community stepped up to support our efforts, for which we are eternally grateful.”

The Darlington and District Hospice Movement began with a small group of volunteers supporting the local community. In the main it relies on public donations.

Last year the annual appeal raised more than £16,000 towards the day to day costs of the hospice’s vital services, which are offered to the community free of charge and include Community Hospice, Inpatient Care and Family Support and Bereavement services.

The normally successful Christmas fundraising campaign was badly hit with major planned events cancelled by a lack of available performers and venue staff because of Covid.

Mrs Bradshaw said: “We start this year with plans for a full calendar of fundraising activities but must also be mindful that things can change very rapidly, leaving us with shortfalls in funds at short notice.

“By donating to St Teresa’s Hospice, people are making a real difference and we hope that we can rely on their ongoing support to sustain services.

“There is a lot to feel positive about. I am so proud of the staff team here at the Hospice. Despite the effect of the Omicron variant, our nurses, health care assistants, and support staff rushed in when colleagues couldn’t work, giving up family time to make sure we were able to continue caring for our patients, resulting in no impact on any of our services.”

Some new day-time groups and wellbeing activities are being reintroduced all complemented by the hospice’s online Wellness Hub that was launched a year ago in response to the restrictions on face to face care.

A new Hospice website has also been launched (www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk) making it more accessible and easier to use and allowing anyone in need of care and support to find out what is available.

The Annual Review is also available online at www.darlingtonhospice.org.uk/about-our-hospice/ detailing first-hand accounts of what it has been like working during the pandemic and from people benefitting from the care and support at St Teresa’s Hospice.

“By making another donation to St Teresa’s Hospice today you can be the difference in someone’s life tomorrow,” said Mrs Bradshaw.

“I must say that it has been my privilege to work at St Teresa’s Hospice with so many inspiring people – staff, volunteers, supporters, patients and their families. My family and I will continue to support the hospice and I look forward to seeing how it continues to develop in the years to come.”

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