Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice has made an urgent appeal for help from the public in the face of booming demand and a "huge shortfall" in funding due to the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The community hospice typically cares for around 400 people with a critical illness, many of them in the last few months of their months, but the coronavirus pandemic has already seen this number jump to 700, and demand will only grow.

Meanwhile, the wide spread of fundraising events have been cancelled including and all 17 of its shops have been forced to close, meaning they hospice faces a colossal shortfall in funding which will likely reach £1m over the next two months.

So Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice has is now urgently appealing for help with funding from the local community as its nurses, doctors and other staff are needed "now more than ever."

Kate Heaps, the chief executive, said that amidst the crisis, which has hit healthcare workers harder than any, "I cannot tell you how fantastic the whole hospice team have been."

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She said this is a "scary time for everyone" but that all of the team has "rallied together, nurses in all settings, our doctors, our social worker, physiotherapists, admin staff, housekeepers, estates, fundraisers, shop staff, the support staff and our amazing volunteers; all doing whatever needs to be done to ensure we are able to keep going and to provide care wherever it is needed."

Staff in the hospice's inpatient unit, in Queen Elizabeth Hospital and those cared for at home are all "stepping forward," as well as finding new ways to meet growing demand using technology, and in some cases nurses going into 'lockdown' with patients to minimise the risk of the disease spreading.

But the coronavirus outbreak has had a massive impact on the resources available.

The team are trying to cleverly reschedule certain events, such as the flagship Mini Marathon 'gone virtual', but the hospice costs £23,000 a day to run.

"Our amazing community of fundraisers can no longer support us in the way that they used to," said Kate.

“Without our charity shops, or our loyal local supporters raising money for us through events, we are expecting a huge shortfall in funding over the coming months, we are likely to be down at least £1M over the next 2 months.

"This is at the very time when our nurses, doctors and other staff will be needed more than ever - as the health service faces its biggest challenge”.

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