Following six months of public fundraising, St Elizabeth Hospice’s coronavirus fundraising campaign, #HereTogether, has reached its target of £250,000.
Launched in April, #HereTogether aimed to counteract the financial impact of coronavirus on the independent Suffolk charity. After lockdown saw the closure of its 31 retail shops and postponing of all fundraising activities, which are vital income sources needed to support the provision of its end-of-life care and bereavement services.
Created in collaboration with Genesis PR, #HereTogether saw the hospice ask the public for support during the financially challenging environment brought by the pandemic, as well as advise on how they could fundraise while adhering to government Covid-19 guidelines.
Hannah Bloom, Director of Income Generation at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are so grateful for the support we received from the community, local radio and press in helping us reach this fantastic sum.
“Following the pandemic outbreak, and subsequent lockdown, we knew income would be impacted and we needed to act quickly. Within 48-hours of contacting Genesis PR we had a plan in place on how to achieve this.
“It wasn’t an emergency appeal, #HereTogether was a campaign to ask people to be here for us today so we could be there for them in the future and that is exactly what the public did. From East Anglia to across the country and further afield, the response has been amazing.
“Along the way we have had to adapt our events such as Midnight Walk, making them virtual activities, but public generosity has not wavered, meaning we can continue to provide our much needed service to patients and their families during the most difficult times in their lives.”
Government funding for hospices is currently £350 million per year, but this represents a small portion of funds required to provide hospice care, with 75% of St Elizabeth Hospice’s income generated via retail shops, donations and fundraising activities.
#HereTogether donations came from across the UK and from further afield, such as Norway and Portugal, with the appeal achieving 22 donations over £1,000 in the first two months of the campaign.
An impressive figure when compared to a normal year which on average sees 25 donations, over £1,000, donated across 12 months. While the hospice fundraising team quickly adapted to the ‘new normal’ through the implementation of new technology, such as contactless payments to facilitate small fundraising events.
From virtual competitions and endurance challenges, such as Georgie Veale raising £13,750 for the hospice with a 200-mile coastal horse ride in memory of her late father, the community and businesses rallied behind the charity and #HereTogether, with the Virtual Midnight Walk 2020, in September, taking the hospice over its fundraising target.
Penny Arbuthnot, Director, Genesis, added: “We loved giving our time and expertise to create and launch the #HereTogether campaign with the amazing St Elizabeth Hospice team and are thrilled that it resonated so well with the public, inspiring an incredible amount of donations and fundraising activities.”
St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life limiting illness. Centered on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.