RESIDENTS in Chester, Ellesmere Port and the wider community have been giving generously towards a well-loved hospice.

Last week the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Backford revealed the shock news that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it faced the prospect of running out of money.

This was due to public donations drying up with everyone unable to host community gatherings or outdoor fundraisers, and the hospice's charity shops having to shut their doors.

However, since it set up an appeal, people have donated thousands of pounds to the cause.

The Standard is enthusiastically backing the appeal and has also set up an online funding page, where readers have donated nearly £2,500 in just a week. This included fantastic donations of £500 and £200 from anonymous donors.

Others donating to the hospice's appeal have included the Chester FC squad, who donated their ‘players fine fund’ for the season.

The pot, topped up by joint managers Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley, amounted to £1,000. Stuart Murphy also kindly agreed to match the donation.

Therefore £2,000 will be given to the #SaveYourHospice campaign.

Throughout the season, the players and backroom staff pay into a pot as a token punishment when they break any of the rules set at the start of the season – such as being late for training and social events - or even forgetting training kit.

Following this generous gift, the Chester FC Academy's Under 16s squad announced they too would contribute £100 to the fund.

The Hospice of the Good Shepherd is a cause close to the club's heart, with David Harrington-Wright, until recently the club's chairman, having spent time at the hospice where his wife Fiona spent her final weeks.

Club Captain Scott Burton said: “We thought it was a fitting cause to donate to and get behind as a group.

“Obviously we’d heard the sad news about Chairman Dave Harrington-Wright stepping down from the board and I knew about his links with the Hospice, so we all thought it would be a nice gesture on behalf of the squad.

“Dave did a lot for us when on the board, so we wanted to do our bit in return.”

Hospice of the Good Shepherd exists to provide free, high-quality care and support for patients, their families and carers across Chester, West Cheshire and Deeside who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness.

The hospice is a charity and only receives 25 per cent of its income from government funding. This means it has to raise just over £3 million each year from donations and fundraising events and of course this has now all had to stop.

They are anticipating that it will be at least £1.1 million short of the income needed for the year, and obviously with no events or fundraising activities for the foreseeable future cash flow is critical and it won’t take long for the financial impact to hit and hit hard.