Ellenor Hospice has declared that it "refuses to allow coronavirus from stopping us caring for local people who need us," but desperately needs help and support from the local community in the face of a "critical funding crisis."

Launching an 'Emergency Crisis Fund Appeal", the hospice has asked for donations from local people to help counter the "great financial burden" caused by sudden extra demand and the loss of the majority of its fundraising.

Whilst the hospice is making significant changes to its care services to cope with the changes, but predicts that its income will decline by £1.1 million over the next three months.

The Fighting Fund will help keep ellenor's care services going, allowing them to continue to provide end-of-life care to over 3,000 adults and children in Kent and Bexley.

Tim Hammond, ellenor's finance director, said it will see "significant financial impact" to raising the £7 million needed to run the hospice each year.

“There has already been a huge drop in the fundraising income that pays for the vast majority of our work.

"A whole summer’s worth of fundraising activities and events have been wiped out – and we have had to close all our shops (except the one inside Darent Valley Hospital itself at staff;s request).

"And this sudden extra demand on our care teams places an even greater burden on our funds."

Chief executive Vikki Harding said that to help fight the outbreak, they were releasing hospital beds for Covid-19 patients, adapting shift patterns to minimise risk and still provide care for children and cancer treatment.

“We have never experienced anything like the Coronavirus. In these unprecedented times, we are making significant changes to our care services and arge urging everyone to follow all government guidance," she said.

"We have today launched our emergency Fighting Fund and our request to you today is simple, if you support the goals we share for local people – and you can spare it – please make a donation today at https://ellenor.org/emergencyfund.

“This Fighting Fund will help to keep ellenor’s care services going, keep myself and my healthcare professional colleagues by the sides of our patients."

To donate, follow this link.