A CHARITY providing end of life care has announced that its first awareness week will still go ahead as planned to raise vital funds for services.

Willow Week starts on Monday to encourage awareness raising activities to help Willow Burn Hospice, near Lanchester.

It is the first of what is hoped to be an annual event as the date was specially chosen to coincide with two national campaigns which are very special to the hospice: International Nurses Day and Dying Matters Week.

Willow Week has been designed to raise the profile of the hospice services by asking individuals to organise or take part in virtual or isolated activities which will contribute to increased awareness of the local hospice.

Ideas include holding a virtual quiz, filling a jam jar with pennies you find around your home, a daily 10,000 step challenge or simply donating the cost of commuting to the charity.

The week is not just about generating funds as the team has also come up with ways to get involved without spending a penny, including teaching children about the hospice during home schooling or displaying coloured Willow Trees in your windows.

Kirsty Crozier, operations director said: “We would love as many people in the Derwentside community to get behind Willow Week and success doesn’t depend on special skills or fitness levels.

“We completely understand that fundraising may not be your priority at the moment, but now, more than ever, Willow Burn Hospice needs your help.

“The vital work at Willow Burn is funded through generous donations and support from the local community, while the hospice does receive a small contribution from the NHS, the facility could not be run on this alone.”

Due to the restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the charity’s shops and café have closed and fundraising has reduced, however the charity would like to pay tribute to all of those who have donated despite the tough times they find themselves in.

Ms Crozier said: “Willow Burn has always known how special the Derwentside community is and the recent support has certainly put smiles on our faces.”