Two Northampton hospice charities merge and launch lottery

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Two charities supporting a Northampton hospice have merged in order to free more money to spend on patients.

The merger by the two charities that support Cynthia Spencer Hospice - Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice and Cynthia Spencer Charitable Trust - will take effect on April 1,

The hospice will also launch a lottery, with the hope of raising £500,000 a year towards its fund-raising target.

Pam Nock who has been involved with the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice since before its launch in 1991 and who will be chair of the newly-formed Cynthia Spencer Hospice Charity, said: “Trustees and board members of both charities agreed that merging would be the most efficient and least confusing way forward for patients, staff, carers and the ever-supportive local community.

“We are so delighted to have finally taken this step to become one all-encompassing charity, which will be well-positioned to meet all the challenges of the next decade and beyond.”

The hospice said that, although the older charities both aimed to relieve the suffering of patients, the Charitable Trust funded staff posts while the Friends helped the patients directly.

A spokeswoman for the hospice said that, in recent years, their many nursing posts have become jointly funded by both charities.

She said: “Running two charities is not an economical use of our supporters’ money.”

Following the reduction in funding help from the NHS, the new charity will still have the same £700,000 contribution to make towards the running of the hospice every year.

The spokeswoman said the charity has two years’ of reserve funds in case it does not meet its target this year.

She also stressed that hospice services will not change as a result of the merger and the NHS aimed not to reduce bed numbers.

Meanwhile, a lottery, administered by St Helena Hospice in Colchester, is expected to help the new Cynthia Spencer Hospice charity raise £500,000 over the next five years.

By working in collaboration with the other hospices, Cynthia Spencer aims for overheads and costs to be kept to a minimum so more funds can be used to support patients and their families in the community.

With 86 guaranteed prizes to be won each week ranging from £10 to £1,000, there is also a chance to win a weekly £250 rollover prize which could go up to £10,000.

Each number played costs £1 per week, which can be paid by direct debit for £4.34 per month.

Players will not need to check their numbers as if they win they will simply receive a cheque in the post.