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Mountbatten Hampshire - the local hospice for Southampton and west Hampshire - has launched an appeal to raise urgent funds in the wake of coronavirus.

The organisation expects to lose around £1 million due to cancelled events and the closure of its charity shops.

The Chancellor announced last week that hospices in the UK will have a share of £200m, however, the amount to be passed on to Mountbatten Hampshire is not expected to make up its shortfall.

“We were very pleased to hear the government recognises our work, particularly as we are doing all we can to support the wider health and social care sector through these unprecedented times,” said Mountbatten CEO Nigel Hartley.

“The reality is, even with government support, we stand to lose a lot of money, which we simply cannot afford to do.

“We have only been an independently-run hospice for a year now and we have limited funds to carry us through the current crisis.

“We have no choice but to turn to our community to help us, as we look to do all we can to support everyone through coronavirus but also continue our work caring for hundreds of people across our community, who continue to die in other ways.”

As well as offering additional bed space for Covid-19 patients, Mountbatten Hampshire has extended its helpline service for anyone to call 24 hours a day if they need support or a friendly voice.

Mountbatten’s bereavement team is providing extra support to people affected by coronavirus and its new Advanced Care Plan, designed for anyone to express their wishes and preferences for their care, should they become unable to communicate, has been launched.

“These are unprecedented challenges for everyone and only by pulling together will we get through this,” added Nigel.

“The need for our services was already growing across Southampton and west Hampshire before coronavirus, now everything has increased even more and has done so extremely quickly.

“Death, dying and bereavement are Mountbatten Hampshire’s daily business.

“We have no alternative but to respond to the growing need for our care and support that coronavirus has brought on.

“Our expert bereavement support services are also required and we cannot ignore the desperate need across our communities.

“Even with the financial issues hanging over us, we have to do the right thing and respond to what is required right now.

“People need us more than ever and the same can be said for how much we need help.”

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