A hospice at the heart of a Welsh community has continued providing essential services throughout the coronavirus pandemic thanks to the ScottishPower Foundation.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Nightingale House Hospice was reliant on its popular retail stores, cafes and charity events to fund its inpatient ward, day-care and outpatient clinics, occupational therapy and bereavement support groups.
Based in Wrexham, the hospice is an independent and voluntary organisation, providing free of charge palliative and end of life care to individuals and families from across north east Wales.
However, when lockdown restrictions were first implemented in March of last year, the hospice saw its existing revenue streams grind to a halt overnight with additional cashflow desperately needed to allow the centre to remain open.
Originally receiving a grant of £25,000 from the ScottishPower Foundation to develop an art therapy programme, the hospice was able to redirect some of the funds to cover essential expenses and the launch of a food delivery service – allowing the team to support 250 households throughout 2020.
The rest of the grant will be used as intended for the hospice’s Artists in the Atrium project, which will launch when lockdown restrictions are relaxed. The project will offer patients a sense of calm and positivity through arts and music.
Steve Parry, Chief Executive of Nightingale House Hospice, said: “Although we have actively sought alternative means of income since the onset of the pandemic, we have never relied so much on the support of our corporate funders such as the ScottishPower Foundation.
“The hospice was originally awarded a grant to deliver an engaging arts programme to the local community but when lockdown restrictions came into play, we worked with the Foundation to change plans and support our most critical work.
“ScottishPower Foundation allowed us to divert some of the funding into our day-to-day running costs, which meant we could keep our doors open and, most importantly, continue delivering an exceptional standard of care to our patients as well as offering support to friends and family of those receiving end of life care.
“We still plan to run our exciting new arts project when lockdown restrictions ease.”
Nightingale House Hospice has remained committed to delivering compassionate grief support amid the pandemic by offering virtual sessions and support groups in place of its in-person services, with a tailored programme available to children and young adults.
The hospice has also pivoted its existing services to create additional sources of income, having turned the much-loved onsite café into a meal delivery service with the support of the ScottishPower Foundation – providing the community with affordable, nutritional meals while funding ongoing treatment.
Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said: “The ScottishPower Foundation is passionate about supporting causes that make a real a difference to the lives of others – something the Nightingale House Hospice exemplifies through the vital service it provides to patients from across north east Wales.
“With the closure of non-essential retail and hospitality having a significant impact on the hospice’s financial situation, its future seemed uncertain at times. By helping the hospice redirect a portion of funding in the face of exceptional circumstances, we ensured it remained operational throughout an incredibly challenging period.
“We’re still excited about the hospice’s plans to launch Artists in the Atrium when it’s safe to do so. It’s going to be a brilliant way to raise everyone’s spirits after the lockdown.”
During 2020, the ScottishPower Foundation distributed £1.2million worth of funding to charitable causes for the advancement of education, environmental protection, the arts, culture and science as well as the prevention of poverty and support to disadvantaged communities.
Further information on the Foundation can be found at www.scottishpowerfoundation.com