ONE of the city’s biggest employers has raised more than £40,000 for a hospice.

Legal and General Mature Savings division first started supporting St Barnabas House as its Charity of the Year in 2017.

The team set itself an original fundraising target of £16,783, which was enough to pay for a whole day of all care services provided by the hospice in 2017.

But the group has now surpassed its goal, raising more than £40,000.

The partnership has allowed staff at Legal & General to learn new skills and build new networks while raising money at the same time.

Simon Griffiths chair of the Mature Savings charity committee, said: “Individuals have organised and participated in a wide variety of fundraising events and activities.

“These include a bike ride from our headquarters in Hove to St Barnabas House, comedy nights, pub quizzes, makeup stalls, tombolas, raffles and a Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier walk.

“One team member even decided to extend his dry January for a whole year.

“Several teams have enjoyed volunteering for the hospice.

“A team from our charity committee spent a day in the charity’s retail distribution centre in Broadwater, Worthing, helping to sort through donations for the hospice’s charity shops.

“The finance team has helped out in the hospice gardens, and other team members have helped the hospice prepare mailing packs to send out to supporters.”

Wendy Bardsley, community fundraising manager at St Barnabas House has helped support Legal & General in its fundraising efforts.

Wendy said: “It came as a complete surprise to be contacted by Legal & General Mature Savings division and told we had been chosen as their Charity of the Year.

“We can’t thank everyone who has fundraised for the hospice enough.

“It’s been a pleasure to partner with the Mature Savings charity committee who have been enthusiastic, creative and hard-working.

“Corporate partnerships are invaluable to St Barnabas House and there are numerous ways businesses can chose to get involved and show their support for the hospice.”

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St Barnabas House is a charity whose aim is to provide high quality, specialist palliative care, both within the hospice and in the comfort of patients’ homes, caring for adults with advanced progressive life-limiting illnesses.

Patients are never charged for their care.

It costs £6.5 million each year to provide all of the hospice’s care services and only a small part of these costs are state funded.

This means that the majority of the money has to be raised through voluntary donations.

During the last 45 years, the hospice has cared for thousands of patients and their families.

St Barnabas House is pioneering a number of key new developments to transform hospice care services.

It has created a Disease Specific Nursing Team with dedicated specialist nurses working in key areas of care to support patients with other end stage conditions, as well as cancer.

The introduction of this team enables it to provide more specialist end of life care to people.

St Barnabas House is one of the leading partners of ‘ECHO’, a 24 hour a day, seven day a week, nurse-led telephone support service for patients who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness.

Volunteers are at the heart of the hospice and it has expanded its team of volunteer counsellors, family services visitors and ward volunteers.

It has also introduced a new Dementia Companions element and a new Therapy Team.

Wendy said: “We are exploring new ways to improve the way we support some of our patients at an earlier stage of their journey.”