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Louis Baylis Trust gives Thames Hospice £995 donation

A £995 donation from the Louis Baylis Trust will help Thames Hospice combat the ‘double whammy’ of lost income and increased demand for the charity’s services because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The money has come from a £10,000 fund set aside by the Trust to help organisations which are supporting those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thames Hospice will spend the money on more nursing care and equipment to treat patients at its Pine Lodge hospice in Hatch Lane, Windsor, and in the community.

Debbie Raven, chief executive of the charity said support such as this ‘has just been incredible’.

“At the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic we faced a double whammy at the hospice.

“Our income has been hugely impacted by the crisis, with the postponement of key fundraising events such as LakeFest, loss of income from community fundraising and the closure of our shops.

“At the same time, the increased demand for our community and inpatient services meant that we have had to significantly increase capacity to support some of the most vulnerable patients with COVID-19 on our inpatient unit.”

She added: “We are so grateful to our community who have generously donated to our [Emergency COVID-19] appeal and our loyal supporters who have continued to fundraise for us during these challenging times.”

Debbie said there has also been ‘wonderful gestures of kindness’ with people donating gifts, food, handmade PPE and new laptops and devices so patients stay in touch with their loved ones.

The role Thames Hospice is playing in the pandemic will feature in the documentary, Ross Kemp and Britain’s Volunteer Army, on BBC One at 10am tomorrow (Friday).

Made by Cookham resident and supporter of Thames Hospice, Ross Kemp, the programme has aired every day this week and illustrates how community groups across the country are supporting people through the crisis.

Debbie said: “We were of course honoured to be involved and it's fantastic for Ross to raise awareness of the critical role our hospice staff and volunteers are all playing during the coronavirus pandemic.”

For the documentary Ross spent an afternoon on the inpatient unit during the restricted visiting hours, meeting frontline hospice nursing staff and volunteers.

He also volunteered on the inpatient unit, serving tea and refreshments, and chatting to, those patients who did not have COVID-19.

Find out more at www.thameshospice.org.uk


Thames Hospice Sunflower Walk

Although community fundraising has all but ground to a halt there are still ways to support the hospice.

This includes taking part in one of the hospice’s major annual fundraising events, the Sunflower Walk, which last year raised £30,000.

The charity is inviting its supporters to remember their loved ones and complete their own in-memory walk on Saturday June, 6.

People are encouraged to choose their own local walking route, covering a distance of either 2.5km (1.6 miles), 4km (2.5 miles) or 10km (6 miles), while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing guidelines.

Entry to take part in the walk is free, with a minimum sponsorship of £25 per person.

Everyone who signs up to the walk will have an opportunity to write a special message for their loved one, which will be placed on the hospice’s memory tree.

If participants raise over £25, they will receive a special Thames Hospice sunflower pin badge.

People can also show their support by donating to the Thames Hospice Emergency Covid-19 appeal to fund the extra staff and equipment needed to care for the patients affected by COVID-19.

Find out more about the Sunflower Walk at www.thameshospice.org.uk/sunflower-walk

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