Martin House Hospice faces "financial crisis" and set to lose £1.7m in essential funding due to coronavirus lockdown

A Yorkshire hospice which cares specifically for children and young people will lose £1.7m in essential funds if the coronavirus lockdown lasts for the expected three months.

Saturday, 4th April 2020, 6:00 am

Martin House, at Boston Spa, near Wetherby, has launched an online fundraising appeal as it faces a financial crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been forced to cancel or postpone the majority of its fundraising events and close all its charity shops as a result of the outbreak and means hundreds of events around the region organised by Martin House supporters cannot take place either.

Martin House has launched an appeal on its Just Giving page and is appealing for donations directly through its website. And while the usual type of fundraising events can't take place, supporters are being encouraged to set up a Facebook fundraiser, or plan an event when social distancing restrictions are lifted.

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The Martin House hospice.

Beckie Wynne, director of income generation at Martin House, said: “We don’t have the deep pockets and resources of national charities, so we rely on the goodwill of our amazing supporters and volunteers to raise the money we need to provide our care. We have had to cancel or postpone events and activities we rely on to help us raise the millions we need – we only receive around 11 per cent of our running costs from statutory sources, so the money we and our supporters raise is crucial to us.”

Martin House cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions from across West, North and East Yorkshire, supporting more than 420 families every year, along with a further 150 bereaved families. It currently costs £9m a year to run its services.

The hospice remains open for emergencies and end of life care, but has been forced to cancel its planned respite stays, although it is providing support by phone and video calls to families. Hospice bosses are monitoring and reviewing the situation on a daily basis.

Ms Wynne added: “We appreciate how hard the situation is for everyone, with many people facing their own financial uncertainty because of this crisis, but if they are able, there are still ways to support us.

Beckie Wynne, director of income at Martin House Hospice.

The Glitter Ball has been postponed and is now set to take place on October 2 and the Martin House charity shops will be in desperate need of stock when they re-open.

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