Katharine House Hospice faces uncertain future due to
Katharine House Hospice is facing an uncertain future due to the financial impact of COVID 19. The pandemic has had a major impact on Katharine House Hospice’s ability to generate funds. The charity has had to cancel all of its events including a large scale music festival, Strictly Stafford and a Sunrise Walk and was forced to close its 22 shops in March. For the first four months of the pandemic Government support meant the charity was in financial balance. The shops began to reopen in June but restrictions to ensure COVID secure practices are implemented for the safety of the public and staff, have caused operational difficulties in receiving and processing donations and shoppers have not returned in the numbers needed to generate revenues sufficient to sustain the hospice’s operation in its current form.
Whilst in April we expected and planned for significant reductions in fundraising and
retail revenues, at present the losses are much greater than expected and swift action
is needed to respond to this.
The charity’s 200+ staff were asked this week to take part in a formal consultation process to reduce operating costs across the organisation. This will involve some job losses. Four of the hospice’s charity shops are closing as they are unlikely to return to profit, whilst most others will see reductions in staff hours. The charity is launching an emergency appeal to save its care services.
Chief Executive Doctor Richard Soulsby said:
“Katharine House like other hospices received additional funding through the spring and
early summer via the NHS, local authorities, and through the HMRC furlough scheme. With this
aid we continued throughout the pandemic to support local patients and their families, whilst
retaining a balanced financial position. After October no further funding will be received.
“Our primary concerns are to maintain services for local people and to support our staff and volunteers. Working together we hope to prevent as many redundancies as possible, but some are inevitable.”
Care began in 1989 thanks to a small group of volunteers who provided support at home and campaigned for Stafford’s hospice. Since then, thanks to our caring community services have grown at the hospice and in the community and each year we provide vital free care for 1300 local people. Katharine House Hospice could adapt its care operations to manage during the pandemic, but Covid 19 has reduced our income to such an extent that it now threatens these services.
Katharine House is calling on local people to help save their hospice – a major emergency appeal will be launching this week to help sustain the hospice’s care services. Local people can help by making a donation at www.khhospice.org.uk or by shopping at one of the hospice’s shops.
Katharine House Hospice provides free care and support for adults and their families who are coping with progressive illness across mid-Staffordshire. It relies upon the kindness of the local community to help generate over 75% of the funds needed to run its range of vital services.