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Hospice defies downturn

PUBLISHED: 15:24 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:32 25 August 2010

A CHARITY facing cuts to its services without emergency funding has raised more than £200,000 in four months, and has announced an image change as it moves into the new financial year.

A CHARITY facing cuts to its services without emergency funding has raised more than £200,000 in four months, and has announced an image change as it moves into the new financial year.

The EllenorLions Hospices, as it is now known, based at Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, launched their emergency appeal in December last year, after revealing a funding blackhole.

On Monday, the service, which provides hospice and palliative care to 2,500 patients across west Kent and Bexley, revealed that £205,000 had been raised, which fills the funding shortfall brought about by the economic downturn at the end of last year.

The charity has designed a new logo, which its members will be launching this week.

Carol Stone, the chief executive officer of the charity, said: "The appeal has been a great success, with support from so many people across the community. Thanks to everyone for what they have done.

"It has meant we have not had to scale back on any patient services, the quality and the number of people that we help has not reduced. There needs are here now, they can't wait for the recession to be over.

"The situation at the end of last year took us by surprise, and we realised that something needed to be done quickly. It has been very successful, and with a budget of £4.7 million next year, we are more prepared for the economic situation.

Mike Elms, a volunteer and supporter of the charity worked on the new logo, which was designed for free with the help of graphic design company Close to Water.

Mr Elms said: "After the Ellenor Foundation merged with the Lions Hospice in 2007, it was felt at the time that the charity would keep there individual logos.

"But throughout the emergency appeal we realised there was some confusion in exactly who we were, with three logos on the charity buckets, people were unsure exactly who they were donating too.

"We realised we needed a new visual identity, one that encompasses everything we do."

Ms Stone added: "I think the new design is great, bringing all of the old logos together. It is great for the year ahead that we can move forward with this new logo and identity.

"We know the next couple of years will be really hard, but we have had time to prepare."

EllenorLions Hospices is financed both by private and corporate donations and funding from the Bexley Care Trust and West Kent PCT. The organisation employs more than 200 people and is supported by 800 volunteers. It costs £13,402.74 every day to provide inpatient care at the Northfleet hospice and home care visits.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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