AN appeal has been launched to plug an estimated £1million hole in St Margaret's Hospice Care's fundraising income due to the coronavirus crisis.

All the charity’s shops across Somerset are temporarily closed and a host of fundraising events have been postponed, including the Great Somerset Cycle and the Taunton Colour Run.

It comes as St Margaret’s nurses and frontline staff are continuing to give vital support to dying people and their families in their homes, at the in-patient unit in Bishop's Hull and via the hospice’s 24-hour adviceline.

At the same time, hospice doctors, nurses and therapists are helping to shoulder the huge burden on the NHS as Somerset faces its biggest ever health crisis.

Joanna Hall, director of fundraising at St Margaret’s, said: “We are already sharing our expertise around symptom management and practical end-of-life support, and this will only intensify in the coming weeks and months, as we aim to support as many patients as possible away from hospital.

“Already our 24-hour adviceline has become busier with calls, and our nurses, both in the hospice in-patient unit and working across the community, are adapting how they provide care safely and continue to offer advice, compassion and reassurance as the crisis escalates.

“Our skills and care are being called on now more than ever. But at a time when an increasing number of people and their families will desperately need us, our ability to fundraise is seriously compromised.

“All of our events, collections and community fundraising have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future.

"Our volunteers and lottery canvassers are unable to collect on the streets. And our 33 shops across Somerset are now temporarily closed.

"We’ve never faced such a significant financial challenge in our 40-year history.

“We should be celebrating our ruby anniversary and the International Year of the Nurse – instead we will be fighting to protect our patients, and providing even more vital care services for the people of Somerset, while facing an estimated £1m shortfall in our fundraising this year.”

St Margaret’s has launched an urgent appeal to make up for the funding it is losing during the lockdown.

The money is needed to help keep its doctors and nurses on the frontline caring for a growing number of dying patients across Somerset, while supporting the NHS with end-of-life care in the coming weeks and months.

To support St Margaret’s while staying at home, you can:

•donate or set up a regular gift at;

•sign up for the weekly prize draw at;

•take part in a virtual challenge at;

•request a ruby sunflower pack at

Ms Hall added: “We have a fantastic community of supporters and we are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support at this time. We need it now more than ever.

“Just £25 could pay for an hour of practical help and advice provided by one of our nurses via our 24-hour adviceline to a patient or family member who is self-isolating at home, afraid or alone. It’s a vital lifeline for many at this time."

For more information, visit