Financial strain for hospice
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.