Sunderland's St Benedict's Hospice appeals for help after losing huge sums due to pandemic

A Sunderland hospice which helps people in the darkest of times is appealing for help after losing hundreds of thousands of pounds due to cancelled fund-raising events.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 5:51 pm

The hospice is urging people to fundraise in any way they can after it’s lost huge sums of predicted income through cancellation of planned fundraising activities, as well as the closure of its seven charity shops and on-site cafe in line with lockdown restrictions.

Although the hospice in Ryhope is part funded by the NHS, it relies heavily on fundraising for its registered charity to be able to continue its care provision, including specialist palliative care.

It’s estimated that one in three people in the city will require the hospice’s services at some point, either through their care or that of their family members.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

St Benedict's Hospice, Ryhope
St Benedict's Hospice, Ryhope

However, with planned fundraising activities unable to take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospice, which is still open and operational, has been hit hard financially.

Chairman Derek Moss said: “Our local patients and families need the support of St Benedict's Hospice now more than ever.

“We therefore need your help. A donation will enable our staff to continue to provide expert and outstanding care to patients when they need it most. Staff are there for patients through the day and night in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

The hospice is appealing for donations at www.stbenedicts.co.uk/fundraising or you can think outside of the box to come up with some fundraising activities to do in lockdown.

The charity shop in Chester Road is among those that's had to close for lockdown. It's pictured here at the opening in 2017 with the then Mayor of Sunderland Coun Alan Emerson with Retail Manager Marie Leighton and Chairman Derek Moss.

Regular fundraiser Mark Allison has come up with an inventive way to help the hospice with his usual sponsored run events around the world not taking place.

Over the years, Mark, who fundraises as Run Geordie Run, has raised more than £150,000 for good causes.

Now, during lockdown, he’s raised more than £2,000 for St Benedict’s with a Stay at Home Duathlon.

Since Saturday, April 11, Mark has been taking on a gruelling amount of miles both on foot and via bike and all from the ‘comfort’ of his own home.

Mark Allison, aka Run Geordie Run, has done a Stay at Home Duathlon for the the hospice

He eventually reached 600 miles, made up of 500 on bike and 100 on foot.

Anthony McDermott, head of marketing at St Benedict’s, said: “There are no words to describe how much Mark’s efforts mean to us all right now.

“With the ongoing situation, we have had to cancel and/or postpone all of our key event which as you can imagine has had a major detrimental impact on our fundraising abilities.

“The hospice is still continuing to operate as normal and thanks to people like Mark we are still able to offer the highest standards of care at St Benedict’s Hospice.”

Great North Run runner Aly Dixon, a regular fundraiser for the hospice, is presented with gifts by Derek Moss, chairman of the board of trustees at St. Benedict's Hospice before lockdown

He added: “What Mark has done for us over the years we can never thank him enough for and when this is all over we can’t wait to invite him in to the hospice for our staff to thank him personally”.

Information about the work of St Benedict’s Hospice & Centre for Specialist Palliative Care and the charity, St Benedict’s Hospice, Sunderland, can be found at www.stbenedicts.co.uk.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you

How to subscribe to the print edition

It’s easy to subscribe to your local newspaper. We have arranged a special 20 per cent off subscription offer for people to take advantage of. Visit www.localsubsplus.co.uk, choose the newspaper title, the type of subscription and enter your details.