Appeal from St Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House


Every day and and night, St Barnabas House nurses and frontline staff are working tirelessly to provide vital care for dying people and their families, both at the hospice near Worthing and in their own homes. For nearly 50 years, the hospice has been part of the local community, providing care and support for people when they need it most. Similarly, Chestnut Tree House has been there for local children with life-shortening conditions and their families for the last 17 years.

No one is ever charged for the care they receive at St Barnabas House or Chestnut Tree House, but very little of their funding comes from the government – less than a quarter and 6% respectively. The hospices rely heavily on the support of the local community, through donations and fundraising

But the coronavirus crisis is having a devastating impact on fundraising, with charity shops closed and events postponed or cancelled. This is threatening the future of both hospices and the care and support they provide for local adults, children and families.

The maths is simple…
It costs £700,000 a month to run St Barnabas House and £400,000 a month to run Chestnut Tree House, most of which comes from fundraising.

Right now, the hospices are losing 70% of their monthly fundraising income. It is only a matter of time before they run out of money.

Rosemarie Finley, CEO of St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House said: 'Now, more than ever, the hospices and the people who depend on them, need your help. Community support is vital. We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone, but if you can afford to, we’d be very grateful for any help you can offer – to keep our services running and bring some desperately needed support to adults, children and families facing some very dark times.'

Your support will help children like Lilly:
Seven-year-old Lilly is profoundly deaf, cannot walk and has very complex needs. Now her family are in lockdown and finding life a huge challenge, as Lilly’s mum Paula said on the phone: 'I am just waiting for the phone call from Chestnut to let me know when someone can visit. That couple of hours will be lovely, it will just mean that I don’t have to worry about her for a little while. I can relax knowing someone else is with her to give her everything she needs.' Confined to her home, Lilly and her family are struggling to cope. Your gift could fund a visit from one of the Chestnut Tree House team and give them a few hours of relief and joy.

'As I’m sure you can imagine, coronavirus has hit our teams and the people we work with hard,” continues Rosemarie.“Because we care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, we need to be especially careful about how we work. And because our staff are hugely skilled we have – of course – also been doing all we can to support the wider work of the NHS. We have had to adapt elements of our services as the situation has developed, but caring for the adults, children and families who need us remains our top priority.'

'We have had to close our Day Hospice at St Barnabas, but we have opened five new beds in the hospice to get patients out of over-stretched hospitals and into our care. And we have introduced a ‘Helping Hands’ scheme offering support to those patients staying at home.

We have had to close Chestnut Tree House for respite breaks and day care but we are still providing care for exceptional circumstances, end-of-life care and bereavement support. And our community team are still visiting children and families who depend on us.'

Your support will help people like Don:
Don suffers from incurable heart failure. He lost his wife and both children to cancer and lives alone, so his visits to our Day Hospice were a lifeline. Unfortunately, the Day Hospice is currently closed, which means that Don is confined to his home. Don said on the phone: 'Not being able to visit the Day Hospice is a hell of a loss. I feel safe there, it’s like a second home. Now I feel like I’m waiting for that door bell to ring and for someone to tell me, Don, you’re coming back to Day Hospice.'

Unable to visit the hospice, Don is struggling to cope. Your gift could fund a visit from one of the St Barnabas House team, to deliver some vital supplies and provide some much-needed companionship.

Rosemarie Finley said: 'Like you, I want to make sure that Don, and Lilly and her family, get the support they need while the St Barnabas House Day Hospice is closed and Chestnut Tree House is closed for respite breaks. And I need to make sure that there are hospices here for them to come back to when this is all over. Please help us so that we can be there for those who need us – now and in the weeks and months to come.
Thank you.'

To help save Chestnut Tree House visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/sos
To help save St Barnabas House visit www.stbh.org.uk/sos
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