Hampstead cancer hospice appeal as funding cuts loom

A cancer hospice in Hampstead will have to rely more and more on generous philanthropists if it is to weather cuts to its government funding, according to its fundraising boss.

Part of the cash raised from the Hampstead Christmas Festival will go towards the Marie Curie Hospice in Lyndhurst Gardens, which treats more than 1,100 people every year from Camden, Barnet, Haringey and three neighbouring boroughs.

The hospice provides everything from onsite care for 34 patients to a bereavement service for families – and all free of charge.

Managers are calling on people to dig a little deeper as the centre braces itself for cuts to its funding.

Emma Carlisle, fundraising manager, said: “The likelihood is that in the future it looks like some of the funding from the NHS will go down and then individual donations become even more critical to what we do here.

“Things like the festival are a massive help, not only to raise money but also to raise awareness of what we do.”

About half of the centre’s �5.3million running costs come from donations.

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In 2009 Hampstead philanthropist Trevor Pears helped pay for a multi-million pound refurbishment of the hospice.

It also has an army of volunteers, with qualified masseurs among the ranks to provide complimentary therapies.

Ms Carlisle, who has been at the centre for more than a year, said: “Most of the donations come from local people and they are really helping people in their community.”