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Covid-19 | Where we are now

During this challenging time of lockdown in an effort to contain the coronavirus our clinical nursing teams have been working harder than ever, with both the Cancer Relief Centre and Community Hospice Outreach teams experiencing significant increased demands in services. Thanks to the amazing efforts of our community, our Government, our GHA and all the hard work of our frontline colleagues, we in Gibraltar haven’t witnessed the devastating loss experienced by other countries. It can be very difficult to think of that level of loss, entire countries and families have experienced, without immense sadness and worry for our own loved ones. Increased feelings of anxiety and fear are now very common for our patients and families. Compounded by an additional sense of loneliness during this period of lockdown. For this reason we successfully adapted many of our additional supportive therapy services, so we can continue being here for cancer patients and families whenever they need us.

Our patients and carers have the option to use, where possible, digital and telephone consultations. However, many people needing our care require essential face to face visits. These we continue to do, following the strict Public Health guidelines of social distancing and where recommended, the use of proper personal protective equipment.

We greatly miss our volunteers! But keep in regular touch with them and look forward to the day we all can be a family once more.
In the 1st week of April alone, our cancer Centre nurses saw 8 patients in their cancer support clinics at the Centre and their weekly telephone support clinics more than doubled to 46 support calls.
 Team 1Our Hospice community teams also saw a dramatic increase in care needs in the community. In the 1st week of April our Hospice team carried out 128 telephone support clinics. Our Hospice Nurses carried out clinical patient reviews to 18 vulnerable high risk patients in their own homes, supported by our Hospice Doctor. They also provided 8 nights of end of life care for 3 dying patients, supporting them and their families with their wishes to remain in their own home at the end of their life.
Our Health Care Assistants carried out 31 home visits for essential care support needs, as well as, carer respite. We are all committed to carrying on supporting you every day and to ensure we offer continuity of the care we provide to those affected by cancer in our community during this challenging time.

 

Behind the scenes our operational/administrative and fundraising staff have also been working hard, some from home, to keep us open and running smoothly. We would be lost without them! Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis like all charities, we have experienced a substantial reduction in donations. Many of our planned events and annual fundraisers, have of course been cancelled, or indefinitely postponed. As a Charity we are extremely lucky to have sufficient funds to see us through the coming difficult months. However, like all charities we will definitely feel the effects of this crisis on our future finances. We need to raise a minimum of £250,000 a year in order to cover our annual total Charity costs. We will not succeed in achieving anything near this, this year.

DSC_5549 v1We know that families and business are also under immense financial pressure during this time. This makes our appeal an even more difficult issue to highlight. Now more than ever your donations truly will make a difference. Any donation, no matter the amount, will help us keep the essential cancer services we provide for our community secure for the future.

We will be advertising some different and fun ways you can help us raise some money, as well as make life in lock down a little more entertaining, in the coming days. We would love for you to join us. Thank you, everyone for your amazing continued support.

Keep safe. Gráinne McKenna Cancer Relief CEO