These charities are entirely reliant on donations from local supporters, companies and groups to enable them to continue to fund very valuable services and equipment, not fundable by the NHS. These include, in our case, the Family Support / Bereavement Service, Befriending Service, Psychology, Complementary and Diversional Therapies, the Dietician, the Chaplaincy, equipment and much more. Our local companion charities and ourselves raise approximately £800,000 annually to help our local units, services and facilities to provide a specialist palliative care (hospice) service.
To ensure your donation goes to help locally (if that is your intention), please make sure donation cheques and payments are made payable to any of the local charities listed above. Thank you.
To summarise, Duchess of Kent House Charity and the other three charities have not been taken over by, or merged into Sue Ryder and remain entirely dedicated to fundraising locally for local patients and their families.
Who pays for Duchess of Kent House?
Reading’s specialist palliative care centre (hospice) is part funded by the NHS and partly by the independent charity called Duchess of Kent House Charity (charity registration number: 1085912). The budget for the unit is approximately £3.7 million per annum, with the charity contributing up to 20%, depending on fundraising and other receipts. Our commitment to the hospice means that we have to raise several hundred thousand pounds a year.
How many patients are treated at the House?
Duchess of Kent House is a full-service hospice meaning that it has 15 in-patient beds, 3 day therapy sessions (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays), an out-patients department and a Community Nurse Specialist service (visiting nurses, previously known as ‘Mac’ nurses). In the 20 years since our opening over 15,000 patients have been treated.
What is Duchess of Kent House’s catchment area?
The area served includes the council areas of Reading, Newbury (West Berkshire) and Wokingham plus surrounding districts – effectively west and central Berkshire, with a total population of nearly ½ million.
How much does it cost as a patient?
Because the Duchess of Kent House is funded by the state, treatment is provided free of charge to all, according to need. The charity exists to fundraise for many services and equipment not provided by the NHS, for which there is also no charge – however donations are always welcome!
How many staff, volunteers and trustees does the charity have?
The charity directly employs just three members of staff: the Director of Fundraising, and two part-time / job share finance assistants. We also have a self-employed fundraiser / admin person who comes in three times a week, and 3 ‘office’ volunteers who come into help one day each every week.
Seven trustees meet once a month to discuss the strategic direction and oversee the management of the charity. Our patron is Mary Bayliss, Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire.
How many volunteers are there and what do they do?
The charity relies on a core of 20 volunteers on an ad hoc basis who help with fundraising, either at events like summer fairs, street collections or performances, or with mailing newsletters, serving in the shop, recycling greetings cards etc. These fundraising volunteers come under the auspices of the director of fundraising and are not to be confused with the volunteers who actually help in the hospice who come under their Volunteer Co-ordinator.
What does the Charity use its funds for?
Each year the charity agrees with the unit’s managers the level of financial support it can give for the following 12 months. Currently the charity provides the unit with sufficient funds for the Bereavement (Family Support) Service and pays for the dietician, psychologists, diversional therapist, complementary therapists, chaplaincy and the Befriending Service. Other grants are also made for equipment, garden maintenance, and patient outings.