A SERVICE which supports people at the end of their lives in Tynedale is expecting increasing demand for its services – while also losing a big chunk of its income.

Tynedale Hospice at Home closed all four of its charity shops on March 19, which it said accounted for one third of its annual income.

Staff at the hospice have thanked the public for their ongoing support, which will help them to continue to provide services as they also prepare to see a rise in the number of people needing them. It is thought that there will be a larger demand for their home-based care services as hospitals struggle to cope with admissions due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Fiona Hutchinson, head of care and a registered manager for Tynedale Hospice at Home said: “We expect to be supporting some very vulnerable and frail patients and we are in close contact with our NHS community nursing colleagues to ensure that we help families in the best way we can during this difficult time.

“We are all working incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances to provide home-based care in our community.”

Tynedale Hospice at Home provides home-based palliative care, pre and post bereavement support and a hospital transport service.

Ms Hutchinson added: “Along with our shops, community activities underpin the income we need to continue to provide essential care to local people.

“This is a very uncertain time for everyone and we are truly grateful for our community for its continued support.

“We are taking all precautions to ensure the safety of our volunteers and staff so we can provide care to our patients who need us now more than ever.”