Fi­nan­cial strain for hospice

Matamata Chronicle - - News/opinion -

A mas­sive fundrais­ing ef­fort from Hospice Waikato has helped staff meet an in­creas­ing de­mand for hospice ser­vices.

But the or­gan­i­sa­tion is con­cerned it can only con­tinue its work if it has the con­tin­u­ing sup­port of the wider Waikato com­mu­nity in­clud­ing those in Mata­mata.

In its 2012-2013 an­nual re­port the char­i­ta­ble trust re­vealed that while re­fer­rals to its ser­vices had gone up, in­come from grants had gone down.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Craig Tam­blyn said the drop in grant in­come was a ‘‘tough re­al­ity’’ that hospice and all other non-prof­its must grap­ple with.

‘‘What makes it per­haps tougher for us is that we cover a huge re­gion – the sec­ond largest cov­ered by any hospice in New Zealand. Plus the de­mand for our ser­vices is go­ing up and will con­tinue to do so.’’

In the 2012-2013 year, re­fer­rals to Hospice Waikato went up by 28 per cent. Nearly 900 peo­ple re­ceived care, ei­ther at home, in the com­mu­nity or at the Hospice Waikato in­pa­tient unit in Hamil­ton.

Those re­fer­rals cov­ered peo­ple with a range of life-lim­it­ing ill­nesses – not just can­cer – and in­cluded chil­dren and young peo­ple.

Mr Tam­blyn said de­spite the in­crease in de­mand, in­come from grants went down by $177,000 dur­ing the past fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘It’s a dou­ble-whammy. Hospice needs to fundraise around $2 mil­lion each year to pro­vide the same level of ser­vice but the fis­cal en­vi­ron­ment for char­i­ties is very tight.

‘‘With a lot of hard work from a lot of peo­ple and some strong part­ner­ships, our do­na­tions and fundrais­ing rev­enues have gone up. But it’s a real strug­gle and fundrais­ing is some­thing we have no choice but to con­tinue fo­cus­ing on.’’

Mr Tam­blyn said de­spite the fi­nan­cial strug­gle, Hospice Waikato en­joyed in­cred­i­ble sup­port from ded­i­cated vol­un­teers.

Any­body could help hospice by vol­un­teer­ing or do­nat­ing, he said.

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