Dear reader,

When I became editor of The Bolton News in January 2022 I knew one of the major parts of my role would be to champion local institutions. The first such organisation I visited early on in my tenure was Bolton Hospice. 

Until then I had always been under the impression that hospices were gloomy places where people went to die. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was overwhelmed by just how much joy there was to find at the hospice.

Yes of course, it is a place where people who are battling terminal conditions go to spend their final days - but it’s also somewhere people can go to have palliative care to make their lives better and where they can receive specialist support in managing life-limiting illnesses. It’s also a lifeline for people’s loved ones who also need a helping hand while caring for someone through the toughest days.

ALSO READ: Bolton Hospice chief exec warns 'model is broken' as a third of beds face axe

Bolton Hospice is a cherished institution that has helped thousands of people for more than 30 years. They are an independent charity, their services are free and they help take some of the strain faced by the NHS. However, the vital services the staff at Bolton Hospice provide are under threat.

The Bolton News:

In June it was revealed the much-loved Chorley New Road site is running at a £1.2 million loss and could be forced to cut nearly a third of its beds. The hospice has always relied on people’s generosity - but its need is greater now than ever.

The Bolton News has a long-established relationship with the hospice as its dedicated media partner. Some readers may not know this but the newspaper was instrumental in raising funds to help build the hospice initially and has continued to raise cash ever since. 

Over the next six months and beyond The Bolton News will be running the "Save Bolton Hospice" campaign in partnership with GoFundMe to help get the deficit down and we’re aiming to raise an initial £100,000.

We know times are tough - but they’ll be even tougher for so many local people if the hospice has to cut services. Our brand regularly reaches more than one million people online and tens of thousands of people in print every week  - imagine if every one of those readers donated £5.

You can visit the GoFundMe page here.