Falkirk Herald launching Support Our Strathcarron campaign to help hospice ahead of 40th anniversary

The Falkirk Herald is launching a campaign to help raise vital funds for Strathcarron Hospice as the service approaches its 40th anniversary.

By Jonathon Reilly
Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:30 pm

The Fankerton-based palliative care facility has looked after several great-grandparents, grandparents, mums and dads since its formation on April 21, 1981.

However, the hospice has taken a huge financial hit over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, with countless fundraising events cancelled and its shops forced to shut for lengthy periods of time.

As the facility still requires to raise £12,900 each day to cover its running costs, we’re now launching a Support Our Strathcarron initiative to provide a funding boost to tireless staff in a time of desperate need.

Strathcarron Hospice fundraising manager Jackie Johnston is hopeful Falkirk district residents will again play their part and raise cash for the Fankerton facility as it nears its 40th anniversary. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The various ways in which Falkirk district residents have come to the aid of the hospice over the past year are testament to the area’s community spirit.

From a two-year-old boy rolling himself down a hill 150 times to a runner taking on a home-based half marathon, there’s been no shortage of inventive fundraising ideas.

As lockdown restrictions start to ease, we’re partnering with Strathcarron to encourage readers to offer their help and commit to generating £218 in 2021 – the same amount needed to run the service 40 years ago.

Jackie Johnston, Strathcarron fundraising manager, said: “We have cared for great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and other loved ones for 40 years and we can only continue to do so with the very generous support of the public.

“We are asking people to pledge their support of £218 this year, in any way they can. They can do whatever they like. We’re launching a 40th anniversary card as well.

“The hospice and the services we provide have expanded significantly over the past 40 years but the core values of compassion, love and dignity remain for patients and their families.”

Despite the extreme difficulties caused by Covid, Strathcarron’s staff have stuck to their task admirably even if fundraising events have been scrapped and the care system itself has had to change.

Ms Johnston continued: “All the original anniversary plans are unable to go ahead as intended.

“Of course, our services remain open for people living with, or dying from, terminal illness. This has not stopped due to the pandemic although it has been necessary to adapt some services.

“For example, we have been unable to run the day hospice for people to attend and are supporting them in different ways, on a virtual basis.

“The education team has been supporting and providing training for colleagues in the wider community, such as care homes and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

“All of a sudden care workers were dealing with death on a daily basis and they were grateful for the expertise we were able to share with them.

“Last year in mid-March I said, ‘I think we should get an appeal set up in case this lockdown happens’.

“We got graphics done and on the first day of lockdown we launched the Stand with Strathcarron campaign. The support we got was unbelievable.

“The new financial year in April is more challenging because I think there’s a bit of fatigue about keeping the momentum going.

“People are still dying from cancer and other illnesses and that will continue with Covid or not.

“The message is: we’re still here.”

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