A North East insurance broker has pledged to donate to a local hospice for every new client, to boost its funds in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Erimus, which is based in Stockton and serves clients around the region, became a corporate sponsor of Teesside Hospice at the start of 2020, providing its services free of charge.
The hospice, which has a palliative care centre in Middlesbrough and offers outreach services across Teesside, provides support and advice to people who have been affected by a terminal illness.
In light of the impact of the pandemic on charitable donations and fundraising events, staff at Erimus have pledged to donate £50 to the hospice for every new client that they acquire between now and the end of the year.
Commercial director Paul Davison said: “In response to the coronavirus crisis, we felt there was more that could be done to help Teesside Hospice over and above our corporate sponsorship.
“We knew that the pandemic was hitting charities hard; the hospice was not only losing money from its regular income streams such as charity shops but also from all the major fundraising events that should have happened over the summer months.
“The pandemic, with its many restrictions and limitations, highlighted how important it is for families to be together, particularly when undergoing treatment or end-of-life care.
“Illness and grief do not discriminate, and the hospice is there for all to use. As such, with a lack of income and the same, or potentially even higher overheads, to pay just to keep the facility open, we felt they were the right charitable organisation to choose.”
The hospice has remained open throughout the pandemic, and even increased its provision of end-of-life care to support the NHS during the height of lockdown restrictions.
David Smith, chief executive at Teesside Hospice, said: “It was important for us that during this uncertain time, we did everything we could to make sure our care continued and we could support local people.
“During lockdown, the demand for our services was – and still is – incredibly high and we expect that to continue as other parts of the NHS refocus to cope with the ongoing pandemic.”
However, while the hospice itself remained open, all 11 of the organisation’s charity shops were forced to close for three months, leading to a significant reduction in funds.
David added: “As well as closing our shops, we have had to cancel all fundraising events for the foreseeable future and, while we can postpone our events, we can’t postpone the need to deliver our care. Fundraising has been hit hard and we still need people to support us.
“For a company like Erimus to think of us at the height of the crisis is overwhelming. We can’t thank them enough and hope that this is the start of a relationship that will last well beyond the end of the pandemic.”
Paul said: “We were delighted that the team at the hospice accepted our proposal for a £50 donation for every new client.
“We hope by supporting the hospice in this way it may encourage other businesses to do the same, or simply ease some of the financial burden while their typical fundraising streams are suppressed due to the pandemic.”
For more information about Teesside Hospice and its work, visit www.teessidehospice.org/
For more information about Erimus or its services, visit www.erimusib.com/