May 1, 2020 @ 10:53 by Steven Hugill
A mutual has provided funding to ensure a charity’s volunteer driver team stays on the road during the coronavirus pandemic.
Newcastle Building Society has given Tynedale Hospice At Home a £3000 grant to help continue running its free transport service.
Covering an area of around 800 square miles, the charity’s 29-strong team of volunteer drivers ensure patients meet radiotherapy and chemotherapy appointments.
The support is continuing as an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak after additional measures were put in place to safeguard the health of patients and drivers.
The transport provision forms a crucial element of Tynedale Hospice At Home’s work, which also includes needs-led end of life nursing care in patients’ homes across Tynedale, Ponteland and West Northumberland, and pre and post-bereavement services for patients and families.
Newcastle Building Society provided the grant through its new Hexham branch, with the funding coming from its Community Fund at the Community Foundation.
Hannah Samuel, manager at the mutual’s Hexham branch, said: “Tynedale Hospice At Home makes a massive difference to the quality of life enjoyed by dozens of people around our area and their families every year.
“Indeed, many of our customers have had personal experience of the service in one way or another.
“Playing an active role in our communities is a core part of who we are and we’re very proud to be supporting such an important local organisation, especially when the current situation is making the challenges that hospice clients are facing that much harder.”
Charlotte Pearson, head of income generation at Tynedale Hospice At Home, added: “Even though the pandemic has stopped most things in their tracks, it hasn’t stopped the need for treatment for some of the patients that we support, so we’re continuing to provide transportation for those that need it.
“Our clients really rely on us during some very challenging times, and in turn we rely on supporters like Newcastle Building Society and many other fundraisers to help us meet the substantial costs of providing our essential services.”
Founded in 1993, Tynedale Hospice At Home has provided nursing care to more than 100 patients and given bereavement support to in excess of 200 adults and children in the last year alone.
Since its 2016 launch, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has contributed more than £1.8 million in grants and partnerships with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Princes Trust. The grants are estimated to have already had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.
The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.