A CHARITY which helps thousands of seriously ill patients and their families every year was in the red for the year.

Figures from St Helena Hospice’s annual report for 2014/15 showed although the hospice’s income increased by 20 per cent to £10.926 million, expenditure also ballooned by a third to £11.622 million.

It meant the charity was more than £600,000 in the red for the year.

However, the hospice's chief executive Mark Jarman-Howe said the deficit was completely expected and put it down to the introduction of new services which, he said, will reap benefits in the long run.

Mr Jarman-Howe said: "That was something which was very much planned because is recent years we have run at a small surplus in case there is ever any unexpected events or problems then the money would be there.

“This year we saw the introduction of new services like Single Point – a 24/7 telephone advice line for palliative and end of life care – and we decided to invest some of our reserves.

“What we have also been doing is investing in things like our shops and our lottery and other fundraising activities which will make sure money continues to come in."

The report showed a total of 2,423 patients were referred for hospice care during the year.

Over the past year, changes have also been made to the way care is handled with services becoming more tailored to individual needs and the addition of shorter groups and more one-to-one appointments.

Mr Jarman-Howe said he was delighted at how many people the charity had been able to help which had gone up by 251.

He added: “I think the most important thing is we helped and provided support for more people than ever before.

“It is the first year we really started to get to grips with what people need and which changes are necessary so we can continue to do so in the future.

“With an increasing population in the local area, there will be more people suffering from illnesses and long-term conditions.

“There are also changes to the health system with the lack of GPs and the issues at the hospital we will be even busier.”

The hospice this year celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Mr Jarman-Howe said celebrations had already taken place and more were in the pipeline.

He said: “We have already done a few events because we wanted to recognise the hundreds of staff and volunteers who have helped us deliver the care we have.

“Some of the events have included a tea party at the stadium which was extremely well attended and was a great opportunity for our chairman and our president to thank everyone who has helped us be successful.

“There are a few other things planned for the coming months.

“There are ten volunteers who have spent all of the 30 years volunteers with us and we will be honouring them in the next couple of months."



 St Helena Hospice in numbers in 2014/15

  •  4,739 groups and individuals raised money for the hospice.
  • 2,423 people were referred for hospice care during the year.
  • 1,029 people donated in memory of someone.
  • 845 people volunteered their time.
  • 405 companies raised cash.
  • 238 staff members worked for the hospice and it has about 1,000 volunteers.
  • 74p - in every £1 spent by the hospice, 74p went on patient and family services and education while 26p went on income generating activities.