More than £400,000 raised in 36 hours for new hospice

Volunteers, community supporters and staff celebrate outside Herriot Hospice@The Lambert.

Thousands of people in North Yorkshire have rallied to raise more than £400,000 in just 36 hours, enabling charity Herriot Hospice Homecare to open the doors to a new hospice later this year.

The innovative Make our Local Hospice Happen crowdfunding appeal aimed to raise £300,000 to help complete construction of Herriot Hospice@The Lambert, in Thirsk, with donations doubled thanks to generous matched funders.

The hospice will serve people in Hambleton and Richmondshire.

The response from local people and businesses saw the original goal surpassed more than four hours before the close of the campaign, with matched funders stepping up to keep the appeal growing to £444,775.

Chief executive of Herriot Tony Collins said: “This has been an incredibly rewarding, inspiring and humbling campaign. The level of support from our community has been overwhelming – local people asked us to bring a hospice to Thirsk, and local people really have been behind Herriot Hospice@The Lambert all the way to help make it happen. From the bottom of our hearts – thank you.

“We knew that raising £300,000 in 36 hours was an ambitious goal, but we have truly been blown away by the tidal wave of support we have experienced since we launched the appeal on Sunday.

“The £444,775 444,775 means that together with the money raised and pledged to date – we have achieved our overall target for the capital appeal. Thanks to this exceptional support, we are on track to open the doors to Herriot Hospice@The Lambert later this year.

“Local people need, want and deserve the vital services which will be offered at our new hospice, and now, thanks to our community, we can ensure this care is available for families in Thirsk, Northallerton, Stokesley, Richmond and across Hambleton and Richmondshire.”

The Make our Local Hospice Happen appeal saw more than 1,200 donations made, and 155 champions raising funds on individual and team online pages, including star of Channel 5’s ‘The Yorkshire Vet’ Peter Wright and Herriot ambassador and daughter of James Herriot, Dr Rosie Page.

Dr Rosie Page said: “We saw the fantastic spirit of our unique local communities as part of this campaign – passionate local people, groups and businesses, trusts and generous individuals who share our determination and drive to make this very special project happen.

“Today local people should be very proud of all we have achieved together, and what this means for local families for generations to come.

“It is wonderful, and appropriate, that the Herriot name is to be attached to this facility, which will serve the community in which Dad worked for so many years. I know for certain that he would be very proud too.”

Local communities were at the heart of the campaign, with Thirsk Rotary Club providing a remarkable boost of £13,000; a pop up cake shop organised by a volunteer fundraising group raising over £5,000, and a local dog show raising over £1,000. Many local shops, businesses and schools also got involved.

Community champion Maureen Worley, a proud supporter of the appeal since its launch, spent the weekend baking for a cake stall, and playing with Thirsk Royal British Legion Band on the Market Square, raising almost £2,000.

She said: “It has been an honour to have been involved with this event –  the coming together of community, friends and families made me smile all day on Sunday. It has been just amazing and I am so happy at how much has been raised.”

And fellow champion Katie Matten of Shepherd’s Purse cheeses, who raised more than £3,000, said: “Last year our mum, Judy Bell MBE lost her fight a couple of months shy of her 71st birthday.

“The Herriot Hospice homecare team supported mum with such care and dignity in her final few weeks, ensuring that she was able to stay at home which was exactly what she wanted.

“They were invaluable to not only mum, but us as a family and this is why I am passionate about Herriot Hospice@The Lambert.”

Herriot Hospice@The Lambert will offer inpatient care and emotional wellbeing support for communities in Hambleton and Richmondshire, as well as providing a base for the charity’s much-loved HOME services which currently operate across the district.

It will cost more than £1.7m to make this vision a reality and complete construction to transform the building. With funds raised and pledged to reach this goal, the charity is encouraging the community to continue to support the future of the hospice.

Tony said: “As a local charity, we rely on the continued, amazing support of our community, whose contributions remain vital in ensuring our new local hospice can be here today, tomorrow and in years to come.

“All funds our community continue to raise will be essential as our new local hospice gets up and running, from helping us to grow a team of nurses and professionals to offer care from this very special site, to adding the essential touches to make our hospice a real home from home.”