Legacy giving is essential

Almost a third of East Cheshire Hospice patients are cared for thanks to legacies left to the charity.

The importance of such bequests is being stressed by the Hospice during its current Will Week (Oct 2-6) as solicitors play their part to help raise funds to cover care costs.

A total of 10 solicitors firms have waived their usual fees for writing, or updating an existing Will, in return for a donation to the Hospice.

Karyn Johnston, Income Generation Director at the Hospice, said: "Legacy giving is extremely important to the future of our Hospice and each year 72 patients and families have the care they receive paid for by a gift left in someone’s Will.

"It’s such an easy thing to do, but by leaving East Cheshire Hospice a fixed amount or a percentage of your estate in your Will, you can make a huge difference to the lives of those in our community facing their darkest days.

"Our end of life care is available to anyone over 18, irrespective of their diagnosis, which means a gift in your Will today could end up supporting your own loved ones in the future."

The Hospice treats around 250 patients a year, a number which is about to double as it rolls out its new Hospice @Home service which has been developed with other health care providers.

With 80 per cent of its income coming from donations, including legacies, it emphasises just how much the Hospice relies on the goodwill of the community.

The largest legacy the charity received was £1.1m in 2008, providing the funding for an extension and modernisation of the Inpatient area at its Millbank Drive site.

It created seven single en-suite rooms, a bespoke admissions area, plus refurbishment of the two remaining four-bedded wards.    

Other legacies have helped fund a staff nurse's salary, complementary therapies and meals for inpatients for various periods of time. The smallest legacy was £25.