A HOSPICE that has provided care to countless patients across the borough is struggling to meet rising costs to keep its vital services going.

Like the vast majority of hospices across the UK, Wigan & Leigh Hospice has to navigate its way through increasing financial pressures as it attempts to cover an estimated deficit of £1million.

Caring for patients for the past 40 years, the hospice needs to raise around £12,000 every day just to keep its services going, a target that has become increasingly difficult to meet following the pandemic, cost of living crisis, and a drop in donations.

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Leigh Journal: Wigan & Leigh Hospice, on Kildare Street in HindleyWigan & Leigh Hospice, on Kildare Street in Hindley (Image: Wigan and Leigh Hospice)
Caring for patients for the past 40 years, Wigan & Leigh Hospice's palliative care services cost around £18,500 a day to run, with around two-thirds of this generated through its charity shops, lottery, and fundraising. 

The rest of the hospice's budget comes from NHS funding.

Jo Carby, Chief Executive of Wigan & Leigh Hospice, said: “It is a really tough time for hospices at the moment. It’s always been a challenge to raise the funds we need to keep our services going, but the additional impact of the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis means we face an even more critical situation than ever before.

“We’re working really hard to secure the additional funding we need to maintain our services, and we’re getting a lot of support from local people and partners.

“It’s often not understood that hospices rely so heavily on charitable income, it’s often assumed that we get all of our money from the NHS. But that’s not the case, and we really only exist thanks to the support of our local community."

Leigh Journal: The hospice has been struggling to meet its funding requirementsThe hospice has been struggling to meet its funding requirements (Image: Wigan & Leigh Hospice)
In order to continue showcasing the challenges facing the sector, BBC North West will be following Wigan & Leigh Hospice for the next year; highlighting the essential work carried out by volunteers and the local community to support them.

Speaking to the BBC last week, hospice patient, Paul, said, "It's an amazing place. We daren't have these hospices closing down. They are essential to the people who are in there."

Another patient, Doreen, described being at the hospice, “It’s like taking a deep breath. They’ve brought me back, that’s what they’ve done, they made me feel like me again.”