HOSPISCARE, the local hospice charity for Exeter, east and central Devon, has launched its Winter fundraising appeal to help raise vital funds for its end-of-life care. 

The hospice provides specialist end-of-life care for around 2,200 patients and their families every year across the heart of Devon.

Nurse Ian in the ward corridor in Searle House.
Nurse Ian in the ward corridor in Searle House. (Hospiscare)

It costs almost £10 million a year to run the hospice, with 82 per cent raised through its charitable fundraising every year and 18 per cent contributed by the Devon Integrated Care Board, the local organisation that allocates government healthcare funding – well below the national average of 37 per cent that other hospices receive. 

Due to the inequity of government funding and the cost-of-living crisis, the hospice is now facing a £2.5 million funding gap next year.

Hospiscare's Winter appeal will help support its services this winter, while it fights for fairer financial support from the local ICB. 

Since the pandemic, the hospice has seen a rising number of younger patients in urgent need of specialist end-of-life care. Local man Nick Frost is fronting the hospice’s Winter appeal this year to help ensure other people can access the same care he and his wife Emma received when Emma was referred to the hospice aged 38.  

Nick explained: “Emma was 38 when she died of pancreatic cancer, leaving me and our four-year old son Harry behind.

"I cannot tell you what an amazing difference the hospice made to us.

"The hospice is so peaceful and the staff made time to really talk with us and tailor their care to Emma’s needs. Because of their specialist expertise, the unbearable pain Emma was in while in hospital was brought under control and we were able to experience her last two weeks of life together in peace and comfort in the hospice’s family room.  

“This amazing time together enabled Emma and I to renew our vows in the hospice and meant Harry could spend quality time with his mummy and he and Emma were able to have a proper goodbye.” 

As a result of Nick’s experience at Hospiscare, he has since become a volunteer trustee and fundraiser for the hospice, abseiling off the Meldon Viaduct this autumn, signing up for a fundraising skydive next year and sharing his family’s story to help raise vital funds.  

He said: “If you feel you could make a donation, any donation, to help this wonderful charity keep caring for local people living with terminal illnesses, please, please do. Their care is outstanding and I feel very lucky that this was Emma’s experience during her final days of life. Everyone should be able to have the same.” 

To donate to Hospiscare’s Winter appeal, please visit: www.hospiscare.co.uk/appeal.