A $28,000 grant from South Waikato District Council will ease the books for Tokoroa Hospice which lost all District Health Board funding last year.
The grant came from the council’s $5 million community development fund and was spent on hospital equipment.
Hospice co-ordinator Vicki Ray said the charity had relied on other sources of finance ever since the Waikato District Health Board cut funding.
DHB communications director Mary Anne Gill said the decision to cut the annual $28,000 grant was made in 2010 and the hospice received a further three years of funds to see it through.
The decision was based on a contract provided to the Waikato Hospice which serviced the entire region, she said.
Ray said it hit hard and was relieved the council had come to the table with a grant.
In the past 12 months, Ray said the hospice had helped 72 families, mostly from Tokoroa.
Because of an upsurge in need, she said the hospice is on the lookout for more volunteers.
‘’’There is an increasing demand because there are more terminally ill people . . . it’s just a fact of life.’’
Ray said people often believe hos- pice is for people who are going to die straightaway but some patients have used the equipment for years.
Mayor Neil Sinclair said he was interested in a discussion with the DHB.
Tokoroa Hospice trustee Bruce Nairn said they appreciated the DHB’s support but felt they had now been sold out to a ‘‘corporate’’ organisation. ‘‘They don’t know our community and that really hurts us.’’