Hospices from across Teesside united in a call for continued fundraising support after each received a cash boost from local businesses.
Representatives of Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice, Teesside Hospice, Butterwick Hospice and Hartlepool Hospice gathered to receive £1,500 cheques from patrons of Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.
But all had one voice as they asked generous locals to continue to donate to and fundraise for the hospices at a time when resources are being stretched due to government cutbacks.
Zoe’s Place CEO Mark Guidery, who hosted the presentation, said: “For successful business people to get together to support the area’s hospices in this way is just fantastic.
“We can promise them every penny Zoe’s Place gets will be used prudently because we haven’t got money to waste.
“Raising the money we need is proving harder than ever but we are absolutely committed to continuing to provide the best possible end-of-life care for those who need it.
“We can only say a heart-felt thank you to the Philanthropic Foundation and all those individuals and businesses who support it.”
Jess Naylor, community fundraiser for Butterwick Hospice, said the unit needs more than £4 million a year to continue to provide a service across Teesside, North Yorkshire, County Durham and Wearside.
“That money is vital to enable us to provide a service for babies, children and adults,” said Jess. “We are reliant on the generosity and support of the public and local businesses.”
Teesside Hospice plan to put their £1,500 donation towards the £500-a-day running costs for each person in their in-patient unit.
“Support like this is critical to keep the hospice open,” said marketing manager Debbie Coulson. “Organisations like those who support the Philanthropic Foundation in this way can be certain their money is helping the people who need it the most.”
Hartlepool Hospice fundraising manager Rebecca Jobson revealed the hospice must raise £2 million a year of the unit’s annual running costs of £2.4 million via fundraising and donations.
“Our hospice supports a population of 180,000 across Hartlepool and East Durham, making a real difference to those at the end of their lives and their families who are dealing with bereavement,” she said.
“We couldn’t do it without the support of generous donations like this, so the support of those who support the Philanthropic Foundation is very much appreciated.”
Among those presenting the cheques on behalf of the Philanthropic Foundation were Cathal Doocey and Karen Eve, representing two of the charitable movement’s newest patrons, commercial vehicle manufacturers CPD Bodies and Stockton’s Castlegate Shopping Centre.
They were joined by Paul Davison of fellow patrons Erimus Insurance Brokers and Nigel Willis of Redcar’s First Choice Labels.
Nigel, managing director of Kirkleatham-based First Choice Labels, said: “Fantastic events like this are the reason why First Choice Labels are patrons of the Foundation.
“We all hope we won’t need a hospice, of course, but we’re all more than grateful for the inspiring service they provide if ever we do.”
Under a banner of “Fighting for Teesside Together”, Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation has raised more than £800,000 over the past four years, creating apprenticeships, boosting local community groups and supporting a range of charities for those suffering poverty or homelessness.