Julia and Hans Rausing donate £8.7 million to 27 UK hospices under financial pressure including Fenland hospice service
A local hospice charity that provides palliative care for people in their own homes in Fenland is among 27 hospices to benefit from a share of £8.7m of funding.
Philanthropists, Julia and Hans Rausing, have announced grants of £8.7 million to the 27 hospices across the UK to help them meet the significant increase in their day-to-day costs, brought about by inflation and high energy prices.
Among those to benefit is the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity which runs the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech, as well as looking after dying patients in their own homes.
Thorpe Hall, the hospice run by Sue Ryder in Peterborough has also benefited from the funding, along with the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and Tapping House in West Norfolk.
Hospices in particular need of support were identified by the Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, working with the charity Hospice UK.
The Trust analysed data to identify hospices with less than 12 months of funds in reserve, with support focused on regions with the highest proportion of hospices in need, which included the East of England, the East Midlands, the North East and Scotland, as well as the Trust’s geographical areas of focus, East Cheshire, Gloucestershire and London.
Research published at the beginning of this year by Hospice UK showed that 96% of hospices had budgeted for a deficit in 2022/23, meaning that many were at risk of depleting their reserves and collectively were facing a deficit of £186m in 2023/24.
Just over a quarter (27%) had less than six months reserves available. At the same time, the cost of running hospices has increased dramatically, with an expected 500% increase in energy bills on top of an increase in wages.
In response to these needs, the Trust determined to give funding over the next three years to provide the identified hospices with a level of financial stability for the future.
Julia and Hans Rausing commented: “The rising cost of living has left hospices in a perilous financial position. We know many are receiving fewer or smaller donations than in previous years, so we hope that these grants can be a lifeline, enabling these wonderful hospices to continue providing care and support in their communities across the UK.”
Toby Porter, chief executive of Hospice UK commented: “Julia and Hans Rausing have once again shown themselves to be the most remarkable supporters of essential children’s and adult hospice care services across the UK.
“Their philanthropy will make a huge difference at a critical time to local communities served by the individual hospices who their Trust will be supporting. This could not be more timely or more welcome. Their philanthropy comes as a time when hospices across the UK are facing immense challenges, as costs soar and the current economic climate creates a tough fundraising environment.
“Adult hospices rely on charitable donations for on average of two thirds of their income, for children’s hospices, this rises to four-fifths. At a time when local communities are finding it increasingly hard to give as generously as they have before, we are immensely grateful to Julia and Hans Rausing for helping hospices, and providing funding that will help them continue to support dying people and their families.
“At Hospice UK we are also proud and grateful to have been awarded a grant by Julia and Hans Rausing to support hospices with their workforce challenges over the next few years. Hospice care obviously relies both on there being enough funding and on the incredible people who work and volunteer at their local hospice. We are proud to be a grantee of this incredible family foundation."
One of the 27 hospices to benefit from a share of the £8.7 million grant is The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House, based near King’s Lynn. The Hospice provides free care, comfort and compassion to people in the local community who are living with a life limiting illness, whilst also providing support for their families and friends.
Niki Ellis, Chief Executive of The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House, said “My heartfelt thanks to Julia and Hans Rausing for their generous three year pledge. Their financial gift will go towards the day to day running costs of our incredible services that support people living with a life-limiting condition and those important to them.
“The last two years have been tough, both for us locally and for hospices across the country, as our costs have escalated at pace across the board. The incredible support we receive from our supporters continues to help bridge the gap between the 30% funding we receive from the NHS and the remaining £2.5 million that we need to fundraise annually.
“The compassionate care we offer to patients at the end of life and the support offered to families through their bereavement is vitally important. Julia and Hans Rausing’s gift to the sector has helped raise the profile of our increased need for financial support during these challenging times.”