Leeds hospice chosen as Lord Mayor’s charity

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Graham Latty has chosen “a local charity that was at the heart of the city”, St Gemma’s Hospice during his year of office.

By Emma Hildebrand and Vaishali Varu

Every year the elected Lord Mayor of Leeds chooses a Leeds based charity close to their heart as a way of bringing the city together and to show civic pride.

St Gemma’s Hospice is a local Leeds charity that provides expert care for people with terminal illnesses.

“The Hospice celebrated 40 years in the city in 2018 and The Lord Mayor thought it was a great opportunity to support us” Head of Marketing and Communications at St Gemma’s Hospice, Nicola Woodgate said.

With it being the biggest hospice in Yorkshire, the charity has approximately 263 employees, 160 if which deal with direct patient care, and over 800 volunteers.

The hospice has a 32-bed in-patient unit, as well as a community team, day hospice and out-patient department.

Throughout the year the Lord Mayor aims to raise funds and awareness about the Leeds based charity by hosting various events and activities.

This year the Lord Mayor is working closely with the charity to prepare for their event Just One Day.

“Just One Day invites citizens, companies and groups in Leeds to do something special for charity on that day,” says Nicola.

The day which is dedicated to raising money for the Lord Mayor’s chosen charity is held once a year.

“People are already getting in touch offering to raise money via coffee mornings, cake sales, making a donation, holding a dress-down day at work” Nicola added.

Cllr Graham Latty said he has been “very active” in the contribution of the Just One Day event.

“I am hoping to visit lots of businesses, schools and other organisations on the day who are organising fundraising events for Just One Day” he added.

St Gemma’s Hospice costs over £9 million each year to run.

According to the charity, in the financial year of 2016 to 2017, they received money from Clinical Commissioning Group to help cover costs.

This meant St Gemma’s Hospice had to raise over £6 million themselves that year.

Some of their costs to care for patients include £10 per person to provide a 3-course meal for in-patients, as well as £145 to provide an out-patient with therapy.

Other costs consist of £30 to provide telephone advice and support to a patient at home and £100 to provide a specialist bereavement support session.

Overall, it costs £26,000 to run all St Gemma’s services for one day.

With the help of the Lord Mayor of Leeds this year, this event will help aid the Hospice financially.

From previous years, former Lord Mayor’s of Leeds have raised up to £90,000.

Money has been raised for a range of charities and different causes including autism, epilepsy, children and cancer.

Emily Clarke from St Gemma’s Hospice attended the council meeting on Wednesday 27th March 2019, making councillors aware of the event in a hope of raising funds.

Ms Clarke talked about the Just One Day event and “encouraged Councillors to participate in their local areas” Nicola expressed.

The Lord Mayor is also hoping councillors will “reach out to local groups, schools and businesses to encourage them to participate in Just One Day and highlight the wonderful work that St Gemma’s do in the community”.

The Lord Mayor himself has also taken to social media such as Twitter to promote Just One Day.

About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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