Viva vows to #ProtectPendleside by waiving consultancy fee

An award-winning PR and communications business is offering to work for nothing for a hospice which is suffering a huge hit in fundraising activity because of the Coronavirus crisis. 

Rawtenstall-based Viva PR says it will work between now and September for no fees after learning that Pendleside Hospice stands to lose more than £1million in charitable donations, since it’s being forced to cancel its fundraising activities for the foreseeable future.

The hospice — which has also had to close all of its 10 charity shops — is currently maintaining its 10-bed Inpatient Unit, Hospice at Home and Family Support Centre services in order to reduce the pressure on the NHS.

“The scale of the problem suffered by Pendleside Hospice is so huge I felt we had to do something,” says Tony Garner, Managing Director of Viva. “It’s a small token in the grand scheme of things but we all have to do what we can in the midst of this crisis.

“Pendleside Hospice needs to remain operational, not least because it is helping reduce the pressure on the NHS. The Health Service would not cope if it had to absorb the additional services the hospice sector currently provides. 

Viva has proved PR services for the hospice for more than three years, helping tell its story to the broader community and build relationships with the business community. The agency learned about impact of the Covid-19 crisis on Pendleside’s finances last week.

Tony added: “The impact is stark. The hospice relies heavily on fundraising and its income will be down by about a third between now and September. We are helping Pendleside with an appeal to bridge the gap and at the same time calling on the Government to come to the aid of the whole hospice sector.”

With Viva’s support, Pendleside has this week launched Keep Your Hospice Open – an urgent appeal for donations as already about £1million of the £4.2million annual running costs at the hospice has been lost, with most fundraising activity forced to come to a halt. 

The Pendleside Pub Walk which raises around £100,000 and the Corporate Challenge which brings in £150,000 have both been put back to later in the year.

Pendleside’s chief executive Helen McVey said: “We’re incredibly grateful for Viva’s support in this way during what is a very testing time for us at the hospice. I know so many other hospices across the region are in a similar situation trying to recoup funds to remain operational and we’re very much in this together.

“We are working hard to ensure our 10-bed Inpatient Unit, Hospice at Home and Family Support Centre services can continue for as long as possible, allowing us to support our local community throughout this crisis. These services help to reduce the need for NHS intervention and we desperately need to keep them operational at a time when the NHS is at breaking point and would not cope with the absorption of additional services.”

To make a donation to the Pendleside Hospice Covid19 Emergency Appeal, please visit the JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/campaign/pendlesidecovid19appeal