Previous COVID-19 statementCOVID-19 Appeal

On 23rd March Graham wrote to you explaining the situation facing our country partners and the difficulties we have in helping them because of lockdown and the closure of our shops.

As I am sure you can imagine, the position remains very serious.  Aware of the risks, all our hospice teams are focussing on caring for as many patients as they can in this hugely difficult time. All four country partners are providing home care services and the hospices in Romania continue to run their in-patient wards.


Mirela Nemtanu, CEO of Hospice Casa Sperantei in Romania, explains the perfect storm faced by the organisation because of:

  • the huge increase in the numbers of patients caused by the state discharging cancer patients from its hospitals to make way for corona virus sufferers; 
  • a sharp reduction in funding in the uncertain economic climate; and
  • the constant battle to source protective equipment.

The organisation has only one week’s supply of PPE left.  Even basic items like disinfectant are scarce.   It faces staffing uncertainty as members of the medical team can be seconded by the state system. As far as possible the hospice is focussing on telemedicine.

Serbia

In terms of finance, BELhospice has enough funding to pay its staff for this month but after that the future is uncertain. For legal reasons, the team cannot be reduced in size. So far there is no government money to help. 

Lockdown applies and is so severe that patients cannot get home from the hospital when they are discharged because there is no public transport available. Food and medicine deliveries are not available.

Albania and Moldova

Albania is still struggling with the aftermath of last year’s earthquake when many people lost their homes. If the virus takes hold in Moldova we cannot see how the state hospitals will cope in this very poor country. Hospice mobile teams are continuing to deliver medicines and basic supplies but again are struggling to source protective equipment.

Special Appeal

We have been humbled by the amazing response so far to our Corona Virus Emergency Appeal. We have received over £60,000 in donations and a grant of £50,000 which is for COVID 19 related activity in Serbia, Moldova and Albania.

There is still a long way to go to make up the funding shortfall of £460,000 that we face but we are very close to reaching a quarter of the Appeal target. We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this Appeal particularly with the challenges faced here. Your kindness to strangers has been amazing.

The Appeal will fund home care services in all four countries and in-patient services in Romania. These services are always essential but with countries in lock down they are even more important. If you would like to help us continue to support these vital hospice services details are set out below.

Government help for charities

You will have heard the Chancellor announcing a £750 million assistance package for charities last night. Since our services are not in the UK we do not qualify for this assistance. In the past we have had income from our shops in times of crisis but they are closed so we are totally reliant on donations and grants at present. We are covered by the government’s job retention scheme and are operating with a skeleton staff.

Our thoughts are with you all over the Easter period. 

Kind regards,

Anna Perolls

Deputy CEO and Fundraising Director


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