A HOSPICE has launched its first ever urgent appeal for cash because the impact of Covid-19 has left it facing an uncertain future.

St Cuthbert’s Hospice Durham has provided compassionate care for more than three decades and cares for upward of 500 families a year.

Chief executive Paul Marriott said the charity relies heavily on support from the community to keep caring for people with life-limiting illnesses, free of charge.

But after losing an estimated £300,000 of fundraising revenue due to coronavirus restrictions, it is urging people in County Durham to support its Make it Count campaign.

Mr Marriott said: “I am so proud of our clinical teams, who have all continued to work throughout the pandemic in order to support those who need the services of the hospice.

"I know how much our patients have appreciated our continued support at a very difficult time in their lives.

“As we prepare for the winter to come, we know that we are going to have to carefully balance increased demand for our services, particularly our bereavement support service and our day care and dementia services, against the fact that we anticipate losing around £300,000 of our fundraised income because of the restrictions placed on us by the need to manage the coronavirus.

“That is why we have launched this urgent appeal.

"We have managed our way through previous recessions and challenges without having to launch such an appeal but, as we all know, this pandemic is different.

"Every donation will count and will help us to make every day count for people with life-limiting illnesses.”

The Northern Echo:

The 1988-founded hospice cares for up to 11 in-patients at a time, helping to provide symptom control, pain management and end of life care.

Senior Staff Nurse Joanne O’Brien said: “Being a Hospice Nurse is what I am so proud to do every day, and this situation is heart breaking for me and all the angels I am proud to call my colleagues and friends.

“The In Patient Unit can be as busy and stressful as any hospital ward and we go out of our way to give love and laughter to all our patients.

"We are so privileged to meet such incredible people and families that will touch our hearts and live on in our memories for years to come.

“It has been so hard restricting visitors so we can protect our staff and patients, and we have all shed tears believe me.

"But we will be there with loved ones when their families can’t be, just like all the other nurses across the world.

"It’s what we do, it’s who we are.”

To support the Make it Count appeal visit stcuthberthospice.com or donate via JustGiving