A North Yorkshire hospice has received a four-figure funding boost from Newcastle Building Society as it looks to manage the impact of the pandemic on the delivery of and demand for its services.

Herriot Hospice Homecare provides free personalised care to enable people to live comfortably and with dignity in their own home during the last weeks of their life, and supports around 600 people in the Hambleton and Richmondshire area every year.

Newcastle Building Society has given the Hospice a £5,000 grant to help it cover its running costs at a time when demand for its essential services is growing and its fundraising capacity has been significantly reduced.

The funding is being provided through the Newcastle Building Society Community Fund at the Community Foundation, which offers grants to charities and community groups located in or around the communities served by the Society’s branch network.

The grant donation is part of an overall £1.5m of community commitment that is being delivered by the Society this year to help the region manage and recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Established by local people in Northallerton in 1992, Herriot Hospice Homecare aims to ensure that anyone affected by life-limiting illness across Hambleton, Richmondshire and the surrounding area has access to high quality hospice care and support at home and in the local community.

It provides a wide range of services to this end, including end of life care, bereavement support, respite care, befriending, complementary therapy and a driving service, and is currently working on transforming a former Lambert hospital in Thirsk into a hospice facility with an inpatient unit.

In order to continue providing its services free of charge, the Hospice needs to raise one million pounds each year and relies on the generosity of the local community to do this.

Chief executive Tony Collins says: “We’ve seen the number of referrals to our HOME service increase throughout Covid-19, and we’ve been recruiting more health care assistants to ensure we can provide the support that’s required.

“In addition, we’ve been supporting our local communities with a dedicated emotional wellbeing helpline available to anyone feeling anxious or low in mood during COVID-19.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has been a very challenging time for us, but our staff have risen to the challenge, and we have been able to continue throughout, using appropriate PPE, taking our specialist end of life support into people’s homes.

“The support from Newcastle Building Society will help us continue to provide our high-quality care to people when they need it most and we are extremely grateful.”

Newcastle Building Society customer director Stuart Miller adds: “The demand for the invaluable services delivered by the Herriot Hospice and other similar charities has not gone away during the pandemic, and the financial pressure that they are all under is only too clear.

“We’re directing grants from our Community Fund in ways which we know will have the greatest tangible impacts on people living across our communities and are very pleased to be supporting such a well-regarded North Yorkshire organisation.”

Earlier this year the Society opened a new branch in the Yorkshire Dales town of Hawes, located within the Upper Wensleydale Community Office in the town’s Market Place.

Since its launch in 2016, Newcastle Building Society’s Community Fund has also contributed over £2.1m in grants and partnerships to a wide variety of charities and projects across the region, including the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Princes Trust. The grants are so far estimated to have had a positive impact on more than 151,000 people.

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Society also made a £100,000 contribution to the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund set up by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

The Newcastle Building Society Community Fund is run in association with the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.