What a changed and ever-changing world we live in.
I hope you are well and looking forward to getting back to the “new normal”, while our economy takes a slow and painful road to recovery. I know many people have been and will continue to be impacted by changes wrought by Covid-19, and our thoughts are with you all.
We continued to care for patients in need throughout lockdown – albeit with stringent rules around infection control and visitors, and community staff making more phone calls and fewer visits. Unfortunately, our shops had to close. That, combined with the postponement of fundraising events such as Dancing for a Cause, has resulted in a huge dent in our funding.
Having said all that, we have been very fortunate in a number of areas:
- Nobody at our hospice, or patients on our service contracted COVID-19.
- Our staff performed exceptionally well during difficult and stressful circumstances.
- The Government Wage Subsidy has resulted in all our paid staff, including shop staff, holding on to their jobs.
- Our four shop landlords have provided us with some rent relief, for which we are very thankful.
- Our volunteers (many of whom are in the Covid-19 vulnerable age group) are slowly coming back to help us, in all areas of our service.
As is the case for many other organisations, we have new financial challenges:
- Reduced income from our shops;
- Many events and fundraising takings have been cancelled and/or dried up during lockdown;
- Our Investment Trust has also seen a decline in investment income.
We’ve embarked on a significant cost–savings initiative, while also looking at ways and means to boost our income to make sure we can balance the books, and continue providing our much-loved service.
Please support all our local businesses, while being kind to others and be thankful that we live in such a safe and beautiful town, region and country.
CEO Frans Dellebeke