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Sunday, 29 March 2015

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Campaign to replace ageing Ulverston hospice vehicle fleet

THE Evening Mail's is hoping to raise £70,000 for St Mary’s Hospice with the ‘Reaching Out’ campaign.

The charity needs the money to replace an ageing fleet of vehicles that are essential if it is to continue providing its vital end-of-life care services to people across South Cumbria and south Copeland.

Money raised by the Reaching Out campaign will allow the hospice to replace seven vehicles it relies heavily upon to provide key services to its patients and carry out vital fundraising activities.

With the oldest vehicle in the fleet approaching 10 years old, the cost of repairs and maintenance is rapidly mounting for the charity.

Some of the cars are used by hospice nurses to provide support to people with life-limiting conditions who wish to receive care in their own homes.

Head of income generation Zoe Guest said the vehicles get well used and are starting to struggle to cope with the strain.

And Maddy Bass, head of nursing, said without the vehicles, the hospice would not be able to operate.

She added: “With an ageing population, you get a lot more people on their own. I think the future is about reaching out into the community because people are less able to get out and about – we take the hospice to them.”

The four cars, two vans and the 4x4 are used to visit patients being cared for at home, to carry equipment to major fundraising events and to transport stock to and from the charity shops and furniture warehouse.

And Mrs Bass said it is just as important to ensure staff can get to the fundraising events as without the income they generate, it would not be possible to provide the high standards of care patients receive.

She said: “If you can’t get there it may be the difference between people giving and not giving.”

With the hospice already having to raise £2m every year to cover its costs, the Evening Mail has decided to help out by providing a new and more cost-effective fleet of vehicles.

Every day this week there will be an article highlighting different aspects of the important work the staff and volunteers do — and how important it is for them to get out into the community.

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