The impact of coronavirus has led to a warning from Mountbatten Hampshire's Chief Executive, who predicts the next few months will be even more challenging.

The charity has been running an urgent appeal since the start of the pandemic, so far raising more than £110,000.

However, it needs to keep the appeal running, as its regular fundraising activity will continue to be hit over the coming months due to the virus.

“It has been an extraordinary response to the appeal – people have really dug deep for us so we would like to say a real heartfelt thank you to everyone across our communities in Southampton and west Hampshire.

“That support means we can keep going for a while but coronavirus is here to stay for some time and our fundraising events and shops have been so dramatically affected by it.

“As we move forward, we are having to continue asking our communities for their support and we have to think together creatively to raise the funds needed to deliver these essential services.”

Mountbatten Hampshire serves a population of around 600,000 people living in Southampton city and towns and villages across west Hampshire, up to and including Winchester.

The money from the appeal has helped Mountbatten to continue supporting people at the hospice and in their own homes during the pandemic. Many Mountbatten staff have also been supporting work in local care homes.

The charity has extended its patient helpline so they can call anytime if they need expert clinical help or just to hear a friendly voice.

Personal touches, such as enabling people’s last wishes to be met, have still been possible, including a lockdown wedding, which Mountbatten facilitated recently.

And thanks to donations, healthy stocks of PPE have also been stored to ensure Mountbatten staff are protected.

Mountbatten shops are set to reopen next week, with Hedge End opening on Monday, followed by Weeke on 22 June and West End on 29 June.

“Things are starting to improve a little but we will have significant restrictions in the shops because of social distancing, so our retail income will remain down for a while,” said Nigel.

“We will do everything we can to compensate for the loss of our income but we need help to continue to meet the growing demand for our services, so please keep supporting us.

“A future with a diminished local hospice is hard to comprehend, let alone a future without a local hospice at all.

“Our communities need Mountbatten to not only survive but to develop more much-needed services.

“Thank you to everyone from us all at Mountbatten Hampshire.”

To find out more about Mountbatten Hampshire’s Urgent Coronavirus Appeal