The St Barnabas Hospice mission is to offer end of life care when people need it, whether that is at a patient’s home, or in one of its hospice settings around Lincolnshire.
The charity has said 2020 was “undoubtedly” its ‘biggest challenge’ in its 38 years of service.
St Barnabas Hospice had to change the way it operates while keeping its patients and staff as safe as possible. It has also come up with innovative ways to keep fundraising while restrictions have been in place.
These efforts have begun to pay off too for the charity as some of its fundraising projects have raise more than the same projects did last year.
A spokesperson for St Barnabas Hospice said: “The pandemic has meant our hard-working nursing teams have had to develop a ‘new bedside manner’, sometimes not being able to provide the hands-on care they would usually be able to administer.
“Instead, they have embraced the wonders of technology to ensure that patients and families were never alone during these times.
“Fundraising has had to change too, with social distancing, different restrictions on events and other elements coming into play.
“When shops were closed during the first national lockdown, we knew there would be a flood of donations to all charity shops. We decided to roll out a plan at short notice which resulted in a ‘Donation Drive-Thru’ where people could drop off items securely and with social distancing maintained.
“This resulted in our generous supporters across the county donating several tons of items that we could sell. The sheer volume of donations meant we filled an entire warehouse and several units at the Lincolnshire Showground and had to call a pause so our army of volunteers could sort through it all.
“Our teams have still gone the extra mile. For example, nurses cloaked in PPE supported a patient to have the fairytale wedding she always dreamed of.
“They were by her side to ensure she was comfortable every step of the way.”
St Barnabas Hospice also arranged for its Dragonflies campaign to go ahead this year where people could dedicate a dragonfly on display at Doddington Hall to a lost loved one.
More than 1,000 dragonflies were displayed and in total, the hospice raised £110,000 here. The display was launched with the help of actor Warwick Davis, a patron of the charity.
The charity’s annual ‘Light Up A Life’ event also went ahead this year as an online event. This normally consists of a procession event through the city but this year, viewers watched online while two torch bearers toured Lincoln.
This year’s event set a charity record with £74,000 raised.
£37,573 was also raised this year through the hospice’s Rudy’s Run project where running takes place at schools, gardens and clubs across Lincolnshire in the aim of raising money for St Barnabas.
It’s Treecycle project, where St Barnabas picks up and recycle Christmas trees in January is also sitting at £6,511.52 and 345 collections, compared to £4,338.56 and 267 collections at this point last year.
The spokesperson added: “This is a year everyone will remember for very different reasons, so many lives have been tragically lost, but through all the pain we have to focus on the positives too.
“It will be remembered as the year St Barnabas changed the hospice approach to care for Lincolnshire.
“In short, we have coped very well. We have succeeded in offering outstanding end of life care, despite Covid-19, but the aftermath means our fundraising ask has never been bigger.
“Our goal remains the same, everyone in Lincolnshire deserves a dignified and compassionate death.”