Eden Valley Hospice has praised dog walkers who are trying to raise funds for the charity to help compensate for the huge funding loss it has suffered this year.
During the COVID-19 crisis, the hospice has continued to provide its regular services, ensuring that patients receive round-the-clock end of life care whilst having the chance to make special memories and say their goodbyes.
It needs to raise £3.1 million each year to keep its doors open, but with its six shops closed and fundraising events cancelled, funding has plummeted.
Stephanie Lacaille-Burton, the head of income generation and marketing at Eden Valley Hospice, said: “Eighty percent of our funding comes from charitable donations each year, and we’re expecting a 70 percent decrease in this during 2020.
“Fundraising is vital for the survival of the hospice and the many services it provides to the community. All fundraising by the community is truly appreciated – now more than ever.”
Dog walkers are among those who are trying to help the hospice make up the funding shortfall.
Carlisle solicitors Wragg Mark-Bell has launched the Four-legged 500 initiative as a socially-distanced alternative to a sponsored walk.
Dogs and their owners are challenged to go on a dog walk and donate £5 to the hospice via the Just Giving page, with the aim of raising at least £500 over the next few weeks.
Stephanie continued: “We are still here for local people with both cancer and non-cancer life limiting illnesses, but this is only possible due to the generosity and kindness of businesses like Wragg Mark Bell.
“At a time when our hospice funding has taken a real hit, it’s really comforting to know that local people and businesses still have the hospice in their thoughts.
“The fact that Wragg Mark-Bell have come up with an initiative that many people can take part in, whilst adhering to current social distancing guidelines is wonderful.
“In normal circumstances it is often a challenge to raise the money we need to keep our services running, but now more than ever, we’re really asking our community for their support to protect the hospice.”
Wragg Mark-Bell solicitor Sara Budniak has already taken her dog, Rocco, out on a special walk as part of her contribution to the four-legged fundraiser.
Sara said: “Getting out and about with your dog has been a real solace for so many people during the lockdown.
“So we thought it would be a good way to celebrate our love of dogs and continue our fundraising for the hospice with this campaign.
“With current Covid-19 restrictions, we were unable to organise a big fundraising event, so we had to consider alternative ways to raise money. Four-legged 500 felt like the perfect way to fundraise safely as a community.
“Eden Valley Hospice does such amazing work, but they need our support more than ever to continue providing that care,” she said.
Wragg Mark-Bell is calling on dog owners to go on a special walk and make a donation of £5 via the Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wraggmarkbell as well as sharing photos on social media using the hashtag #fourlegged500.