A KIDDERMINSTER hospice has issued an urgent appeal for donations after the coronavirus crisis left the charity with a "huge hole" in its budget.

With many of KEMP's vulnerable patients still unable to visit the hospice in person, the charity's nurses will, from next month, providing free specialist care in people's homes.

But with most of the hospice's fundraising events cancelled this year and after months of its charity shops being closed due to the pandemic, KEMP is now facing its greatest challenge in its 51-year history as it struggles to fund the new much-needed service.

Cotswold Journal: KEMP Hospice has launched an urgent appeal for donationsKEMP Hospice has launched an urgent appeal for donations

Karen Coles, care services manager at KEMP, said: "Today, in these challenging, worrying times I am asking for your urgent help in caring for local patients and their families who need us now more than ever during this crisis.

“I am so proud to be part of a nursing team that has cared for thousands of patients, family members and carers in our community, but now we are confronted with the greatest challenge we are ever likely to face.

“Our patients are all vulnerable, many of them elderly. They are the very people we have all been at pains to shield from the virus – and many of them are not going to be able to come and access care at our hospice building.

“But we knew we could not leave them to fend for themselves. We had to act. We decided that if our patients cannot come to us, we will simply have to go to them.

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“From the start of August, we are going to be taking our care services out into our community.

“Every patient will be able to access our specialist nursing care, physiotherapy, creative therapies, welfare advice and spiritual care all in the safety and comfort of their own home."

KEMP is stocked up with PPE ready for the service launch, but to make the new way of working a success, the charity is in desperate need of donations towards its new Resilience Fund.

“During the pandemic, we were forced to close our shops and cancel all our planned fundraising events for the summer,” said Karen. “This has left a huge hole in our budget.

“The government has given some welcome support to hospices recently, but this will not come anywhere near covering the costs of the care services we know our community will need. The rest we have to find ourselves and that is why I am asking you to donate whatever you can to our Resilience Fund.

Cotswold Journal: Karen Coles, care services manager at KEMP, with staff nurse Jenny GriffithsKaren Coles, care services manager at KEMP, with staff nurse Jenny Griffiths

“Our patients need your help to continue receiving practical care and support through their terminal illness when they need it."

Donations to KEMP's Resilience Fund will pay for home visits from the charity's physiotherapists, helping someone with a serious condition to keep moving and reduce their pain, or creative therapists to support patients nearing the end of their life to create a memory box to leave behind for their family.

The fund will also help KEMP nurses to deliver expert care to patients in their final days.

Karen added: "Of course, you must think of and care for yourself and your family first, but having done so, if you can spare anything at all, I guarantee your generosity will help us to reach out and support those in our community who need our care most urgently.”

To make a donation, go to kemphospice.org.uk/donate or call 01562 756066.