BURY Hospice is aiming to open all 12 of its beds ­­— and needs people to dig deep to help achieve this goal.

When the hospice moved from Dumers Lane in Radcliffe to a £5 million site in Rochdale Old Road five years ago, it doubled its capacity from six beds, with the aim of reducing its waiting list, which is four to five people.

But having opened at the new site with six beds, it has never had the funding to staff and operate them.

Different options have been discussed over the years, including operating some health services from the hospice.

Now, the new board of trustees and management have made it their mission to double the capacity of the hospice to care for as many people as they can.

The hospice has launched its Six Bed Challenge ­— and we are fully behind it.

The most expensive part of care at the hospice is the 24-hour specialised staffing.

Rooms and equipment are already in place, but the hospice needs to find a sustainable way of funding the staff to provide the first-class care the hospice is known for.

Initially, the plan is to open two more beds ­— which will cut the waiting list by half ­— without too much extra cost.

But in the longer term, funding the remaining four beds will be the major challenge.

The hospice is appealing for help in a variety of ways, including a benefit concert, corporate sponsorship and by appealing to local entrepreneurs.

Those who have had loved ones cared for at the hospice during their final days know what a difference the care made and want to ensure other people are not turned away because there are not enough beds.

It is a view shared by staff and volunteers who go out of their way to help those needing end-of-life care, as well as their loved ones.

We now need people to get their thinking caps on to come up with fundraising ideas and to give generously to make this dream a reality.