A Letter from Our Chair of Trustees, Phil Robson

Chair of Trustees, Phil Robson

As Chair of Trustees at Mary Ann Evans Hospice, I wanted to thank you for your ongoing support.  Without you, Mary Ann would not be the very special organisation that it is, serving the community in the north of Warwickshire with the enthusiasm and commitment that marks out our services.  The challenge for us all in these uncertain times is to keep going in the face of our vulnerability and our feelings of fear about the risks we face as individuals and, in particular, those being taken by our staff in helping people at the front line of the pandemic.  We could not face these pressures without your support.

At the start of the crisis we concentrated our efforts on looking after families at home and with our skilled staff we will continue to strive to prevent many patients ending their lives in hospital.  In fact, we have significantly increased the level of support we offer at home on a 24-hour,  7-day per week basis. The response of our clinical staff and the essential back up support which we have retained at work has been magnificent.  I can only imagine the frustration felt by the staff and the volunteers who are staying safe at home.

As you will know, the need to close our shops has caused a major problem, as 75% of our income comes from fundraising. We have been helped by the Government’s furlough scheme and by other financial support provided to all businesses through local authorities.  The leadership at Hospice UK have been superb in negotiating a prompt direct payment to cover some of these losses.  Without this central support, there is little doubt our survival would have been threatened, as we do not hold lots of reserves, preferring to use the money which you give us to maximise our front line service.

We now have to start planning for the next few months, when this central resource is gradually reduced.  This will mean a staged opening of our shops, following a risk assessment that enables this only when it is safe.  Your commitment is needed more than ever, and we are confident that with your vital support we can carry on providing the care that is so badly needed in our community.  In fact, our current experience suggests that we can come through this stronger than ever.

When it is safe, we look forward to welcoming you to Mary Ann to thank you in person for your continued support.  In the meantime please do look after yourselves.

 

Phil Robson

Chair of Trustees