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Meet the ambulance drivers and back the hospice’s fundraising campaign

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 16:21 13 November 2020

Ambulance crew Kevin Shotter and Richard Arnold at St John's Hospice in Grove End Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Ambulance crew Kevin Shotter and Richard Arnold at St John's Hospice in Grove End Road. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

Ambulance drivers have become a lifeline to vulnerable patients unable to attend St John’s Hospice Day Centre because of the Covid pandemic.

St John's Hospice appeal. Picture: St John's HospiceSt John's Hospice appeal. Picture: St John's Hospice

Since March, drivers Kevin Shotter and Richard Arnold have been delivering essential groceries and prescriptions to those shielding at home, as well as care packages of arts, crafts, and entertainment activities.

Patients with life-limiting illnesses can then continue their therapy sessions from home by joining in online craft activities organised by the hospice’s occupational health team.

One recipient, Asha Ali, who has been coming to the hospice since 2014, said: “Whenever I was low on food, the hospice ambulance team would bring me groceries, and they call me regularly to make sure I am okay. They never leave anyone behind.”

READ MORE: Ribbon cut on refurbished inpatient unit at St John’s Hospice

The hospice has a predicted £1.3m deficit by the end of the year and has launched an emergency appeal.

Since the pandemic began, the hospice has had to invest more to adapt to Covid restrictions while continuing to offer extra support and free palliative care to its 4,000 terminally ill patients per year across eight London boroughs.

Funds have been severely hit due to the cancellation of fundraising events and the closure of its two charity shops.

“We deliver our essential palliative care without charge to our patients and their loved ones. It is something we take huge pride in, but we cannot do this without donations, ” said Caroline Fox, the hospice’s chief executive officer.

How you can help:

Donations to St John’s Hospice can be made by visiting the hospice website www.stjohnshospice.org.uk or calling 020 7806 4040 and asking for the fundraising team. Every £20 pays for a visit from a bereavement counsellor to support a family member and £50 will pay for three hours of one to one care for a patient.


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