Otago hospice facing ‘perfect storm of pressure points’

The Otago Community Hospice may face a potential funding shortfall of up to $200,000 after six months of fraught fundraising.

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From Sunday, it’s using Hospice Awareness Week to focus on seeking support from the community to help it break even.

The service costs close to $7 million a year to run with fundraising covering a $2.7 million shortfall between those costs and government funding.

Its chief executive Ginny Green said Hospice Awareness Week usually promoted Otago’s specialist palliative service.

“Our commitment to our community stands strong and I want to reassure everyone that this call to aid is not about the Hospice thinking about reducing services, but our need for your support has never been stronger,” Green said.

“We are facing a perfect storm of pressure points: our shops had a three week closure and subsequent reduced trading hours, our ability to fundraise through events has been curtailed since the arrival of Omicron, and we are experiencing skyrocketing costs, particularly around pay parity issues.”

The free service meant people across the region could access support during their illness and death, she said.

“We rely hugely on multiple streams of community support to help bridge the gap, but the restrictions on our ability to fundraise sees us facing a potential shortfall this year. It may be up to $200,000.

“We are certainly feeling the pressure at the moment, which could be relieved somewhat by our awesome community assisting us get to the end of this financial year with our books balanced.”

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