A MUCH-LOVED hospice has thanked the local community for the support it has received so far for its #SaveYourHospice emergency appeal.

The Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Backford is currently facing an unprecedented financial crisis due to the shocking impact of the coronavirus and could run out of money in a matter of months.

New restrictions on our daily life mean the hospice cannot hold any fundraising activities and has had to close its five charity shops across Chester and Ellesmere Port.

It is anticipated there will be at least a £1.1 million shortfall in fundraising for this year.

The hospice launched an appeal on Saturday, March 28, which has so far raised over £50,000 from so many generous supporters in just 10 days.

A parallel appeal was launched by The Standard, where we promoted the appeal on the front pages of both the Chester and Ellesmere Port editions. The Standard has its its own online donation page with an urgent plea to its readers to help the hospice, and has raised nearly £2,500 so far thanks to fantastic support.

Caroline Siddall, director of income generation, said: “We are incredibly grateful to our community who have given so generously to the #SaveYourHospice appeal, as well as The Standard and their readers who have supported us so well.

"Even in these difficult times some people are still finding novel and unusual ways to support us. Visit our Facebook page to see our daily #HospiceHero to see who has gone above and beyond and found a creative way to support us such as holding sweepstakes, raffles and donating petrol money.

“To everyone who has supported the appeal, whether you have fundraised, donated, or helped spread the word, thank you so much from the whole team at the hospice.

"Our Inpatient Unit is still open and receiving patients and is continuing to deliver essential end of life care and support to patients and their families.

"By continuing to deliver these vital services, the hospice is working hand in hand with the NHS and allowing the local hospitals to increase their capacity to focus on patients with coronavirus."

The Standard's online funding page will see all donations go towards the hospice appeal. Donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/standardsaveyourhospice . Alternatively, call the hospice directly on 01244 851811.

The hospice, which is not part of the NHS, receives only 25 per cent of its income from government funding, meaning it has to raise just over £3 million each year from donations, fundraising events and charity shops which are now all on hold.

For over 30 years, the Hospice of the Good Shepherd has provided end of life care to patients living with life limiting conditions from Chester, West Cheshire and Ellesmere Port. It provides a 10-bedded in-patient unit, a Living Well Centre which provides day support to help patients maintain their independence and to stay at home longer as well as bereavement support for both adults and children across the catchment area whether or not the death of their loved one was connected to the hospice.