THE amount of money left to St Ann’s Hospice in wills this year has fallen by nearly 50 per cent.

The charity, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, received £1,389,363 from wills in the last financial year ending in March, 2012.

Each year, the hospice has to raise £6 million in addition to funding it receives from the NHS to support its services.

It supports more than 3,000 adults with life-limiting illnesses each year in Greater Manchester at three sites, including its Peel Lane site in Little Hulton.

Celebrations to mark the hospice’s 40th year generated more fundraising than usual, which offset the drop in legacies, but the hospice is appealing for people to help them raise money to keep the hospice going.

Director of finance Liam McCarthy said: “Historically our legacy income has always been very strong and we’ve never proactively done legacy marketing before, but we felt we needed to raise awareness after experiencing a huge swing in terms of income.

“With legacy income still depressed and changes to how our services are commissioned by the NHS, we’re having to work that bit harder just to stand still.

“It’s becoming increasingly important that we maximise all our income streams and exploit every opportunity for generating more income.

“We’ll be concentrating on this area more than we’ve done in the past. It has to be done sensitively but at the same time we need to get the message across.”