A HOSPICE has been given a funding boost to help it meet the high demand it is experiencing.

Teesside Hospice, which has a palliative care centre in Middlesbrough, has been struggling with reduced income despite increasing its end-of-life provision during the pandemic to support the NHS at the height of restrictions.

Stockton-based insurance broker Erimus has pledged to donate £50 for every new client it acquires for the rest of 2020.

Commercial director Paul Davison said: “The pandemic, with its many restrictions and limitations, highlighted how important it is for families to be together, particularly when undergoing treatment or end-of-life care.

“Illness and grief do not discriminate, and the hospice is there for all to use. As such, with a lack of income and the same, or potentially even higher overheads, to pay just to keep the facility open, we felt they were the right charitable organisation to choose.”

The hospice has remained open throughout the pandemic, and even increased its provision of end-of-life care to support the NHS during the height of lockdown restrictions.

Hospice chief executive David Smith said: "For a company like Erimus to think of us at the height of the crisis is overwhelming. We can’t thank them enough and hope that this is the start of a relationship that will last well beyond the end of the pandemic.”

He added: "It was important for us that during this uncertain time, we did everything we could to make sure our care continued and we could support local people.

“During lockdown, the demand for our services was - and still is - incredibly high and we expect that to continue as other parts of the NHS refocus to cope with the ongoing pandemic.”

However, while the hospice itself remained open, all 11 of the organisation’s charity shops were forced to close for three months, leading to a significant reduction in funds.

Mr Smith said: “As well as closing our shops, we have had to cancel all fundraising events for the foreseeable future and, while we can postpone our events, we can't postpone the need to deliver our care. Fundraising has been hit hard and we still need people to support us."