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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland Hospice in funding plea as events cancelled

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Northern Ireland Hospice chief executive Heather Weir

Northern Ireland Hospice chief executive Heather Weir

Northern Ireland Hospice chief executive Heather Weir

The Northern Ireland Hospice has made a public plea for donations as it announced the postponement off all planned fundraising events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes following government advice issued on Monday on social distancing measures and avoiding large gatherings.

The Northern Ireland Hospice and provides palliative care, specialist rehabilitation and respite care for more than 4,000 infants, children and adults each year.

This care does, however, come at a cost - £15.5m annually. Around £4m of this is funded by the government with the remaining £11.5m raised through corporate support, shops and fundraising activities

Last week, the charity's chief executive, Heather Weir, revealed that hospice shops have already seen an 11% reduction in revenue within the last week due to decreased footfall.

Fundraising events planned for over the coming few weeks were also expected to raise £250,000.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, a Northern Ireland Hospice spokesperson said: "The health and safety of our supporters, staff and the public is paramount and we will not risk a potential infection. We are not cancelling any of the events but will re-schedule when it is safe to do so.

"We ask that you continue to help us and make sure that Hospice can continue to provide the vital care services for babies, children and adults across Northern Ireland – especially in these uncertain times.

"Over the next few weeks we will be appealing for your support in different ways. If you wish to help us now, please donate online at www.nihospice.org/donate or via Facebook."

Heather Weir last week urged the government to consider the third sector and charities such as the Northern Ireland Hospice when it comes to the allocation of any additional funding.

"We operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and we depend heavily on two sources of funding - from Government, and from our charity fundraising," she said.

"Any reduction from either of those sources may hit our ability to deliver those services."

Belfast Telegraph