Suffolk-based Sue Ryder charity ‘on brink of closure’

PUBLISHED: 07:10 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 07:49 07 April 2020

The Sue Ryder charity shop in Carr Street, Ipswich, could be at risk. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Sue Ryder charity shop in Carr Street, Ipswich, could be at risk. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

The Sudbury-based Sue Ryder charity which has a specialist centre in Ipswich says the country “will lose its hospices” without emergency funding.

Without funds, the palliative care charity said it will be forced to close its hospices and stop caring for people in their own homes within months.

It anticipates a £12 million funding gap over the next three months, with fundraisers cancelled and its shops closed during the coronavirus lockdown measures.

In 2018 the charity and Ipswich Hospital joined forces with Suffolk’s clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to set up The Chantry Neurological Care Centre in Ipswich – which cares for people with a range of neurological conditions such as Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis.

The Suffolk-based charity also has shops in many of the county’s towns, including Ipswich, Needham Market, Hadleigh, Manningtree, Framlingham, Bury St Edmunds, Colchester, Frinton-on-Sea, Sudbury, Aldeburgh and Leiston.

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Sue Ryder had originally asked the Government for support like a number of charities and now, out of “desperation”, it is turning to the public for help with an emergency appeal.

Heidi Travis, chief executive of Sue Ryder, said: “We have been calling on the government to support us but no funding has materialised.

“The country will lose its hospices at a time when they are needed most.

“This is a plea and no less, we cannot wait any longer.

“Our doctors and nurses are working night and day to provide end-of-life care to more people now and in the coming weeks, than ever before.

“We are a critical frontline support service in the fight against coronavirus yet we are on the brink of closure.

“We are all facing something we have never faced before and we are asking the public to give whatever you can afford to help us to help those who need it most.”

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, statutory funding covered a third of the charity’s end-of-life care costs.

At the end of March, Age UK Suffolk launched a fundraising campaign to help maintain its services stretched by the coronavirus outbreak.

They are looking to raise £33,000 a month to help look after the county’s elderly in the wake of the disease.

Suffolk’s hospices are also appealing for support throughout the virus outbreak.

East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices has made an urgent plea for support as the coronavirus crisis has seen it lose up to £100,000 a week in funds.

More: ‘Financial forecasts are extremely concerning’ – Children’s hospice plea for support amid coronavirus hardship

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