A large number of fundraising events for the Foyle Hospice, including the annual ladies walk/run, have had to be cancelled this year.
The chief executive of the Foyle Hospice has said they are facing 'crippling' financial problems because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Donall Henderson was speaking after Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy yesterday announced funding of £6.75m for hospices.
The Foyle Hospice is to receive £600,000 of this.
Mr Henderson welcomed the new support but was stark about the financial shortfall facing the hospice.
“This helps with the income we have lost in the first few months of 2020, due to shop closures and suspended fundraising events, as well as wider economic uncertainty," he said.
"Most importantly this funding recognises the need for our services and whilst it will go some way in alleviating the crippling financial burden that we are facing, it does not ensure that Hospices are safe and does not replace our income for the year.
"The £600,000 grant will still leave a significant deficit which we know will continue to grow as our fundraising income will be dramatically reduced.
"We continue to be grateful for every penny we receive from our extremely generous and supportive community.
"Ultimately this could have an impact on the delivery of our services in the future, but we want to reassurepeople that we are still here for them, providing compassionate care and support where it is most needed.”
The new financial support has been welcomed by local politicians.
Sinn Fein Foyle MLA Karen Mullan said the hospice and its staff were a vital asset to the local community.
“They provide high quality and compassionate care to those who are in need, and in particular those who are seriously ill.
“Hospices often rely on fundraising carried out by remarkable volunteers and community organisations who work tirelessly throughout the year.
“Due to the ongoing public health emergency and the cancellation of events, the capacity to fundraise has been severely limited and has caused significant financial stress and concern.
“I believe this financial injection will go some way in alleviating many of their financial concerns and I thank Minister Conor Murphy for that.
“From the bottom of my heart – I want to thank the staff at hospices and all those involved in fundraising efforts. You are all truly fantastic people, keep up the fantastic work.”
SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said: "“Hospices and their staff are a huge asset to our society. The staff provide compassionate care to those that are in need, and in particular those that are seriously ill or at the end of their life. More acutely now than ever, their work is invaluable.”
“As a result of COVID-19, the ability to fundraise has been limited and this has caused serious financial difficulty to hospices across the North.
"While not the end of the road, I am hopeful this financial injection will go some way to mitigate the financial difficulties. They absolutely deserve our support to make it through this challenging context.”
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