A TYNEDALE charity, which relies on local volunteers and community support to provide end of life services, has plans to continue to grow this year.

Tynedale Hospice at Home, based in Hexham, provides end of life nursing care, a hospital transport service and a pre and post-bereavement family support service to adults and children.

At last week’s meeting of Hexham Town Council, chief executive Mike Thornicroft and the head of income generation, Charlotte Pearson, updated councillors on the charity’s progress and plans for the future – which include opening a new charity shop.

Mr Thornicroft said last year, it had cost £900,000 per year to fund the charity’s services, with less than seven per cent of this coming from the NHS. This is expected to rise to over £1m this year.

“In the last financial year, we have provided over 2,500 hours of care to people who have accessed our services ad that has been over 100 people who have come to us for that support,” he explained.

A new shop is planned for Haltwhistle, at a date still to be confirmed in spring this year.

Mrs Pearson explained that retail shops in Hexham, Prudhoe and Ponteland helped to keep the charity financially sustainable, along with donations and fund-raising.

Mr Thornicroft said the charity’s work this year also involved working with the county council to find a way to get people out of hospital sooner and have care in their home, so they did not die in hospital when they did not want to.

“Fifty per cent of people die in hospital only three per cent actually want to.

“That’s the thing we are striving to address,” he said.

Meanwhile extending bereavement support to allow people to access additional support from peer groups is also on the agenda, as well as the introduction for new services.

For the first time, the charity plans to provide dementia care to carers and people with dementia in the community and introduce complementary therapies such as Reiki and reflexology.

When asked by councillors how people could support the charity, they encouraged people to get involved by volunteering and fund-raising.

And Charlotte said the support for the shops had shown how much people value the charity, with them continuing to encourage people to donate what they can, including electrical items.

She said: “We are very lucky.”