Monday, 25 May 2020

Sue Ryder could be forced to close all services due to coronavirus funding crisis

Sue Ryder could be forced close all services 'within months' due to coronavirus funding crisis

A CHARITY which supports terminally ill patients in the Henley area could be forced to shut its doors following the coronavirus outbreak.

Sue Ryder, which provides an outpatient nursing service and telephone support line from its base at Joyce Grove in Nettlebed, has launched an emergency appeal to keep itself afloat.

It says it is losing money because it has had to shut its 450 shops, including the branch in Duke Street, Henley, and cancel fundraising events nationwide.

The charity, whose Nettlebed hub also offers day services like support groups and alternative therapies, only receives about a third of the funding it requires from statutory sources.

The remainder has dried up since the Government imposed restrictions on people's movements and ordered the closure of "non-essential" shops and services in a bid to contain the virus.

Sue Ryder now faces a funding gap of £12 million by July and says it is only a "matter of months" before it has to close all its services and inpatient hospices including the Duchess of Kent facility in Reading.

This is the nearest to the Henley area since the six-bed inpatient unit at Nettlebed shut last month.

Chief executive Heidi Travis said she had called on the Government to provide extra funding but none had materialised.

She said: “The country will lose its hospices at a time when they are needed most. This is a plea and no less as we cannot wait any longer.

“Our doctors and nurses are working night and day to provide end of life care to more people now, and in the coming weeks, than ever before.

“We are a critical front-line support service in the fight against coronavirus yet we are on the brink of closure.

“We are all facing something we have never faced before and we are asking the public to give whatever you can afford to help us to help those who need it most.”

To donate, visit www.sueryder.org/donate

For the full story, see Friday's Henley Standard

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