Rising costs and declining donations are causing hospices to struggle

According to a provider, rising costs and declining donations are affecting the incomes of UK hospices.

Rising costs and declining donations are causing hospices to struggle

According to a provider, rising costs and declining donations are affecting the incomes of UK hospices. This was reported by the BBC.

Havens Hospices of Essex stated that it was becoming harder for them to keep up with the rising demand at their sites in Southend, Benfleet.

Steve Smith, boss, stated that the average donation to the charity has fallen by half since April. He also said that its energy, food, and staffing costs have soared.

He said that about 80% of Havens income is derived from donations.

He said, "That's because people jump out of aeroplanes and run marathons, hold cake sales, and all other activities."

"But we are losing supporters at the time. People give less and can't afford regular payments.

Smith stated that the charity expected its energy bills to rise by 85% over the next twelve months. Its current estimates range from PS40,500 up to PS75,000.

In addition, the company's matching NHS rates for pay to retain and recruit staff have pushed its wage bill up 37%. This adds up to PS2.8m per year.

The charity also has seen food prices rise, and fuel costs for its community teams.

Havens isn't the only hospice that faces financial uncertainty.

Hospice UK estimates that hospices in the UK will have to cover up to PS100m more this year because of rising inflation and the cost to match NHS pay.

This adds up to an additional PS500,000 per year for the average hospice.

Apart from looking for other ways to raise funds, Mr Smith stated that Havens was also trying to save money where possible.

He said that they have looked into getting food from donations and used motion sensors to ensure lights were not left on. They are also looking at whether electric vehicles could be an option to lower fuel costs.

Havens Hospices must raise approximately PS85,000 per week in order to provide their services which are completely free for all who use them.

They offer inpatient and outpatient care as well as counselling and creative workshops.

Amanda-Jane Freemantle has been attending Fair Havens in Southend since around one year. She has a congenital condition that causes her to have a heart attack.

She said that the complimentary therapies "relax me." "I can bring a friend or family member and they can also relax with me."

She said, "It gives my purpose to go outside." "I get to meet people with the same illness as me and we can have fun and chat. It's amazing how I learn new skills. Without funding, I wouldn't have the ability to do all of that."

Amanda-Jane also supports the hospice by creating pamper packages for inpatients. The hospice staff is also helping to lead fundraising efforts.

Pamela Houghton Clarke, Ward Manager, plans to run next year's London Marathon with two of her colleagues.

"It's going be a challenge, none are runners!" She said. She said that she and her team were "very conscious" of hospice's challenges, and are keen to "do our part".

It is clear that cost pressures affecting UK households could impact how vital hospice services can be funded.

Mr Smith said Havens is looking at "different ways to raise funds and diversify our income", which is a process that's already in progress as it looks ahead to next few years.

He admits that there may be difficult decisions.

"The danger is that we will have to think about what we offer and how we can make the most of the income we get." These services will be prioritized for the most vulnerable.

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