HOSPICES in East Lancashire are appealing for help with a Keep Your Hospice Open Campaign after being severely hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Pendleside and East Lancashire Hospices have both seen their funding dramatically impacted by the spread of the virus and the government's orders for people to stay indoors.

These measures have meant that crucial fundraising activities have been suspended, while charity shops have been closed as volunteers, many of them over 70, are forced to self-isolate.

Pendleside Hospice Chief Executive Helen McVey said: “We are working hard to ensure our Inpatient Unit which has 10 beds, Hospice at Home and Family Support Centre services can continue as normal for as long as possible.

“These services help to reduce the need for NHS intervention and we desperately need to keep them operational at a time when the NHS is at breaking point and would not cope with the absorption of additional services.”

Pendleside has already seen £1 million of its £4.2 million running cost lost and has had to suspend high profile fundraising events including the Pendleside Pub Walk and the Corporate Challenge, along with closing all 10 of its charity shops.

As a result, Pendleside’s day services unit has not closed and in response the hospice in now appealing to the community for help.

Ms McVey said: “As has always been our mission since we opened our doors in 1988, we’re determined to be there for people in Burnley and Pendle who need our services. But we desperately need people’s support for our Keep Your Hospice Open campaign to make this happen.

“We are aiming to raise £1 million to help us be there for anyone who needs us at this time of national crisis.

“In light of the huge financial losses we will face in the coming months, we need the support of our community now more than ever. Please consider supporting us in any way you can.”

East Lancashire Hospice is also appealing for help.

In a statement, East Lancashire Chief Executive Lyn Stevenson said: “As a local charity our community has for the last 35 years supported our hospice.

“We know that the times are going to be tough for the foreseeable future but with the strength that is being shown and the help and care that is being offered, we will support each other and get through this difficult time.”

Pendleside Hospice has opened a page at justgiving.com/campaign/pendlesidecovid19appeal and can be contacted for donations via Leah Hutchinson on 01282 440100 or email the hospice at info@pendleside.org.uk, while East Lancashire Hospice can be reached on 01254 287000 or at info@eastlancshospice.org.uk.