BURY Hospice says it is continuing to work hard to be there for people as it deals with the challenges posed by coronavirus.

In the days since the start of the outbreak the Rochdale Old Road-based charity has been forced to take many steps to protect its patients, their families and staff.

Day services at the hospice have been suspended, as have the admittance of visitors to the inpatient unit ­— except for those on end-of-life care.

It is also facing struggles to secure the vital funding it needs to keep working following the closure of its eight shops and the suspension of all fundraising activities for the foreseeable future.

However, in spite of the growing challenges Eloise Burke, the hospice's chief executive, says the organisation is seeking to reassure people that "You are not alone" at this difficult time.

She added: “Coronavirus is impacting all of us across Bury, from causing financial hardship to feeling the effects of isolation. We are living in unprecedented times when even the simplest things have been made difficult.

"This is very hard for the people who we care for, especially those at end-of-life. Our priority, as ever, is to be here for you.”

“I am so proud of our staff who are all going above and beyond, covering roles outside their own to keep operations as normal as possible at the hospice.”

To ensure care to all patients is unaffected by the changes brought about by Covid-19, Bury Hospice says it is working in collaboration with partners across the sector and adapting on a daily basis.

Daily contact is also being maintained with patients outside its walls who are often socially isolated and without relatives, with staff nurses like Sue Turner calling to ensure they have enough shopping, medication or to meet any other needs.

She said: "Call us, we will help out in any practical way you need."

And, while the Hospice Outreach Service is not currently able to visit patients and their families, it is still providing emotional and medical support, as well as signposting people to other services such as the Bury Community Hub to help with their practical needs.

Ms Burke added: “We are also receiving many messages offering support to us during these times as our income streams have been impacted significantly with closing our eight shops and suspending all fundraising events for the foreseeable future.”

“If you would like to donate you can support us by joining our weekly lottery, make a one off or regular donation via our website, www.buryhospice.org.uk or donate on our new dedicated JustGiving page www.justgiving/campaign/hereforyou. For the next few weeks we are urging people to donate online.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our staff, volunteers and supporters for standing by us during these unprecedented, difficult times.”

‘Thank you, take care and pick up the phone – we are here for you.”