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Eden Valley Hospice has been loved and supported by local people since we opened three decades ago - but now we are facing one of our toughest ever years.

Eden Valley Hospice has been loved and supported by local people since we opened three decades ago - but now we are facing one of our toughest ever years.

Covid-19 restrictions stopped fundraising through community events and forced our charity shops to close for long periods. It means that just when we should be celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, we are fighting for survival. The Help Our Hospice campaign is asking 300 local people to pledge a donation to the hospice in their will.

Pat, a former primary school teacher who lives near Carlisle, is one of the 300. She made a pledge in her will and contacted us to let us know, after seeing the appeal. Pat’s husband John, a former secondary school teacher in Carlisle, passed away in April last year. They had been together for 34 years. 

Pat says: “The hospice was absolutely marvellous. The care and compassion and attention that both of us received was wonderful. “It was right at the beginning of lockdown, and they bent over backwards in very difficult circumstances. The care was second to none, nothing was too much trouble.”

Covid precautions restricted visiting and initially Pat could not go in to see John. “But after the first few days they phoned me and said come down, because I was going back to a house where I was on my own,” says Pat. “And I actually spent quite a lot of time there being with him in the last few days. It was very, very precious. “They are absolute angels. I don’t know how they do their job. But one of the nurses said to me that it was a privilege to do what they do.” The expertise and dedication of our team meant that John, who was suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease, had all his needs met.

Pat says: “I couldn’t have cared for him at home, it was just beyond me. But they just took over everything. And they looked after me as well. “It wasn’t just the fact it was end of life care, they managed all the other stuff too.” After experiencing the work of the hospice first-hand, Pat believes it should be secured and protected from crises like Covid which can suddenly hit income. “Because no one knows what the future holds, I want to try and make it possible for the hospice to be there for those who need it,” she says. “I was redrafting my will anyway and so I made a pledge to the hospice. It was straightforward to do. 

“I have also started to give a regular amount each month. I want them to have guaranteed income. It’s not much but if everybody did it, we could make such a big difference. “I’m sure many people think the hospice is part of the NHS. It is frightening really to think that something so important is funded from donations and raffles and legacies.” 

Eden Valley Hospice and its children’s facility Jigsaw provide specialist care for adults and children with life limiting illness including end of life care.

To find out more or to make the pledge visit the Help Our Hospice page

Alternatively, contact Clare Sweeney, hospice Interim-Legacies Manager on 01228 817607 or clare.sweeney@edenvalleyhospice.org or any member of the fundraising team.