Could you be one of St Mary’s Hospice heroes?

We are looking for 500 people from across Furness and South Lakes to become ‘hospice heroes’ — by sponsoring one of our nurses.

St Mary’s nurses are out and about in every town and village across Furness and South Lakes, providing care for people with life limiting illness in their own homes, 365-days-a-year, as well as looking after over 100 patients a year from across the region at the Hospice itself, in Ulverston.

And yet, despite the fact that their services are so vital for over 500 local families each and every year, the funding they receive from Government covers less than 20% of their running costs. That runs out before Easter each year, meaning that from then on St Mary’s is reliant on the generosity of local people and businesses to keep delivering the first class care they provide.

Head of Fundraising Helen Carlson explains; “It costs over £4.7million a year to run the hospice, and the bulk of the cost is taken up with our In-Patient Unit and Hospice at Home service, which are so vital for so many families across Furness and South Lakes. We get just 18 percent of that from the Government, and for the rest we rely on our local community.”

People and businesses in the region already donate to St Mary’s in a variety of ways — with regular events and challenges, a weekly lottery, seven shops and a cafe — but the Covid-19 pandemic fired a warning shot to all local charities about making plans for the future.

“Every year it gets tougher, and although we came out of the pandemic in a safe financial position, we were shown just how vulnerable our funding can be if shops are closed and events are cancelled.

“We are really lucky and we do have some amazing supporters who do so much for us. And we also know that times are tough, and not everyone will be in a position to make a donation.

“But we’re hoping to raise around £100,000 a year from this new funding stream, by finding 500 local people to sign up as Hospice heroes. We’re asking you to make a small, regular (monthly) donation. Having this secured income would make such a difference, because it gives us some reassurance makes it easier to plan the care we provide.

St Mary’s Hospices’ Integrated Teams’ Sister Lauren McKenny said: “Patients and their families often call us heroes — of course we’d never call ourselves that, we see it as an honour and a privilege to be able to do the work we do, caring for people.

“So to us the real heroes will be the people who sign up as sponsors, because they’re providing the money that means we can go on providing the care in homes and to families right across Furness and South Lakes.”

Click here to sign up now for Sponsor a Nurse, thank you for being our heroes!