The Gazette is supporting Bristol’s only adult hospice as they launch a 12-month fundraising campaign to protect their services, after the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant they lost over £2million in funding.

The hospice have launched their ‘When it Matters Most’ campaign to try and plug the gap.

St Peter’s Hospice, cares for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families at the Hospice and in the community across South Gloucestershire.

Despite being a frontline service only 20% of their funding comes from the NHS, leaving them heavily reliant on fundraising initiatives.

Due to the pandemic and the restrictions in lockdown, the hospice had all major fund-raising events postponed and temporarily closed of all their charity shops.

Stephen Merchant, star of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, whose grandmother was cared for at the site in Brentry is supporting the campaign.

He said: “I can’t imagine Bristol without St Peter’s Hospice.

“The difference they have made to my family and the families of tens of thousands of other is immense.

“It is devastating to realise the enormity of the impact that COVID-19 has had and that critical end of life care is threatened and might not be available in the future.”

All of St Peter’s Hospices services are provided free of charge to patients and they support around 3000 patients and their families every year.

Over £4 million of the Hospice’s funding comes through their shops, fundraising events and donations. Although there has been a slow return of the shops and fundraising activities, income from these activities is down significantly.

The hospice has already had to reduce its capacity by a third, going from 15 beds to 10, in the In Patient Unit and day services will be closed for the medium term.

For the first time in the hospice’s history, bosses are being forced to review redundancy options.

Frank Noble, CEO of St Peter’s Hospice said: “The Hospice exists because of the generosity of our supporters and we have never needed you more.

“Our ability to help those at home, those in need of specialist care and those who need support through bereavement during these extraordinarily difficult times is diminishing as every week goes by.

“We are now at the point of reviewing staffing across the Hospice –something we have never had to do before.

“After everything we have been through it really is heart breaking.

“The next 12 months are critical.

“The Hospice exists because of the imagination, generosity and compassion of the people of Bristol and beyond.

“If you can help now, it will make a huge difference when it matters most.”

Readers can support the ‘When it Matters Most’ campaign in several ways. Tthey can make donations online, instore or by post. By shopping in St Peter’s hospice stores or on their online shop.

Holding fundraising events in aid of the hospice is another way to support the campaign.

A simple way to support the campaign without donating is to share the hospice's fundraising activities on social media.

Mr Noble added “Making decisions that impact our services is not easy.

“Every decision we take is guided by the aim of minimising the impact on patients.

“The public’s support now is more vital than ever as we move through uncertain times.”

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