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St Nicholas Hospice Care says 25 jobs at risk after £1 million loss in income due to coronavirus




Twenty five jobs are at risk at a hospice after it lost an estimated £1 million in income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Bury St Edmunds , began a formal consultation with staff today in a restructure 'to ensure the charity is in the best possible financial position'.

However, the organisation plans to create 15 new roles, which it says affected staff will be 'encouraged to consider'.

St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by George Impey
St Nicholas Hospice Care, in Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds. Picture by George Impey

Barbara Gale, hospice CEO, said they were expecting to restructure the charity over the next three years but 'the impact of the coronavirus means this needs to happen now, with changes implemented at a quicker pace'.

"While our ability to continue is not in imminent danger, we do need to bring forward previously planned changes to ensure the charity’s continued sustainability," she said.

"As the coronavirus is likely to have a lasting financial impact, especially on voluntary sources of income from which the hospice raises 75 per cent of its £6 million annual total, we need to take steps to ensure the charity is in the best possible financial position.

Barbara Gale, chief executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care
Barbara Gale, chief executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care

"Since March our community has been supportive and generous and we are so grateful for that, but during the pandemic, necessary restrictions stopped most of our fund-raising and retail activity.

"We have been able to host some fund-raising efforts and reopen shops but income remains lower than normal, understandably because of the challenges and uncertainty we all continue to face.

"The estimated loss of income from fund-raising and retail as a consequence of Covid-19 this year is approximately £1 million."

Although the hospice is unable to say what the final impact on jobs will be, Mrs Gale said they were 'committed to exploring all options and are engaging with staff to support them and help ensure that compulsory redundancies are avoided wherever possible, including voluntary redundancy and flexible working arrangements'.

She added: "The challenges we are facing are being experienced by charities up and down the country.

"By acting now, we believe the hospice will be in the best possible position to continue supporting those facing dying, caring and grief for generations to come."

St Nicholas Hospice Care supports people living with dying, death and grief across West Suffolk and Thetford .

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