BOLTON Hospice has launched a new patron scheme for local businesses and organisations who want to support it through the cost of living crisis and beyond, writes Saiqa Chaudhari.

Joining the patron scheme is said to be a wonderful way to show support for the local hospice.

All patrons receive a number of benefits, but the real benefit is helping to fund free specialist care for patients and families when they need it most.

There are four levels to choose from ­– diamond, emerald, platinum and gold.

The University of Bolton and Stateside Foods became the first organisations to sign up to be diamond patrons.

The Bolton News: Professor George HolmesProfessor George Holmes

The university was the first to join as a new diamond patron, with the generous support helping Bolton Hospice continue to provide vital services for local people.

Professor George E Holmes DL, president and vice chancellor of the University of Bolton, said: “We are delighted and proud that the University of Bolton is the first diamond patron of Bolton Hospice.This reinforces both my own personal commitment to health care and that of the wider university.

“The university is part of the fabric of the Bolton community and so is the hospice, it provides an absolutely vital service to the people of our borough, when they and their loved ones most need it.

“We are committed to continuing our support of such an amazing institution.

“I would encourage other businesses to follow the University of Bolton’s lead and sign up to the patron scheme.

“It will undoubtedly make a huge difference to many in our community.”

The Bolton News: Stateside FoodStateside Food

Stateside Foods upgraded its current patronage to diamond to support the hospice in the face of their financial difficulties this year.

Heather Middlehurst, head of people at Stateside Foods said: “As Bolton Hospice faces mounting financial challenges due to rising costs and the cost of living crisis, the availability of donations has become more restricted. Now, more than ever, it is vital for businesses to rally together and extend a helping hand to support the hospice through these difficult times.

“The services offered by Bolton Hospice, not only alleviate the burden on our overstretched NHS, but also ensure that individuals facing their final days, do so with dignity, creating memories and cherishing precious moments with their loved ones, amidst serene and tranquil surroundings.

“Stateside Foods have been proud patrons of Bolton Hospice for many years recognising their importance and the difference they make to local people, and I would urge other businesses to consider supporting our hospice and their dedicated team of staff and volunteers, in any way that they can.

“Together, let’s be the driving force behind a compassionate community, enriching lives and leaving a lasting, positive impact on those most in need.”

Bolton Hospice chiefs say that when people or businesses join the patron scheme, they are in good company.

The Bolton News: MJ MayMJ May

Local businesses MJ May, Lostock Skips, Lancasters Estate Agents, Barlow Andrews LLP, Incontinence Shop, and Roccia have pledged their support by signing up to the new scheme.

Michael May, managing director of MJ May said: “In my business life being fortunate enough to be able to support Bolton Hospice is the thing I am most proud of. The hospice is the most inspiring, kind, and loving place I know.”

The Bolton News: Longstanding patrons of the hospice, Lancasters Estate Agents, have increased their support to become new Platinum Patrons

Lancasters Estate Agents uplifted its patronage from gold to platinum.

A spokesman said, “We have been gold patrons of Bolton Hospice for seven years and, through our work and dealings with local people during this time, have encountered many families who have been so grateful for the care the hospice has been able to provide them in their time of need.

“As a small, local, family run business, we feel that we have a duty to support our town in any way possible, and we felt it was a very easy decision to increase our level of support to become platinum patrons.

“We would urge anyone considering supporting a local project to see what benefits this facility offers the town and we are sure many would agree, we would be lost without Bolton Hospice.”

The Bolton News: Barlow AndrewsBarlow Andrews

Barlow Andrews has also pledged their support.

A spokesman said, “Barlow Andrews are pleased to show our continued support of the Bolton Hospice Patrons scheme by increasing our annual donation.

“As accountants, we are acutely aware of the need to balance the books in these trying times and want to help the hospice continue to provide the excellent and much appreciated service they supply to the Bolton Community.”

Joanna Dyke of Lostock Skip Hire said, “After witnessing first-hand what the hospice does for not only patients, but the relatives and friends who visit, I knew it was something I personally wanted to get involved in.

“Fundraising for the hospice was the first step for me, closely followed by volunteering to help out in the hospice itself, but when you see the work that goes into giving the level of care to the patients, the cost and the fact that this is all self-generated I knew that just being involved myself wasn’t enough.

“Lostock Skip Hire becoming a patron for the hospice is a natural fit for us as a company.

“We love helping out in the community and being a small part in the essential care that the hospice provides is a big thing for me and my company.”

The Bolton News: Barlow Andrews were pleased to be able to increase their annual donation to the hospice and become Platinum Patrons

Roccia recently joined the scheme as gold patrons. Zuber Patel, managing director, said: “As a company that supports Bolton Hospice, we know how much they help local families when times are tough.

Bolton Hospice is like a strong pillar, giving care and comfort when it’s needed most.

By supporting them, we’re not just helping now, but also making sure our community stays strong and cared for in the long run.”

Patrons help Bolton Hospice to continue providing specialist care and support for local people living with terminal and life-limiting illnesses. Their donations help fund a variety of vital services, including the 16 bed inpatient unit, flexible drop-in support of the Wellbeing Hub, specialist medical and nursing staff, and support for family and carers.

Kathryn Willett, fundraiser at Bolton Hospice explained: “High fuel and energy costs and high inflation rates, combined with over 15 years of below inflation increases to our government NHS funding have placed a worrying, substantial financial burden on us.

These external factors beyond our control mean we expect our costs this year to be £1.2 million more than our income.

“Despite incredible support from our local community, year after year, our fundraising efforts simply cannot continue to keep up with our ever-increasing costs.

“We have therefore decided to refresh our Patron Scheme in 2023, with the aim of attracting new patrons to support the hospice in the long term and increase the contribution of this vital source of income to the hospice.

“On behalf of everyone at Bolton Hospice, our heartfelt thanks go to our wonderful patrons, both new and old, for their generous continued support.

With their help we will withstand the challenges facing us and secure the future of our vital services for all those who will need them in future.”

The generous support of Bolton Hospice patrons helps them to care for patients.such as Eileen, who experienced the care and support of the hospice earlier this year.

Eileen spoke about her experience of her stay in the inpatient unit at Bolton Hospice. She said: “I was diagnosed with CLL, that’s chronic lymphatic leukaemia, 10 years ago, but it’s only been the last two years that I’ve been very poorly. I have been in and out of hospital for four months before coming to Bolton Hospice, which has been smashing. For my husband and daughter particularly, it’s given us all a break because as you can imagine it’s got everybody down. It doesn’t just affect me. Here at the hospice I’m better off because the staff know how I feel, whereas my family don’t know so they can’t help me in that way. All they can do it help by being practical. And here my husband and daughter still visit me a lot.

“I went over to the Wellbeing Hub today and I’ve been making silk scarves and finishing off some crafts. The scarves have been my favourite craft because I like watching the ink develop, it’s like a photo so it’s changing all the time in front of you. It’s just so relaxing, and then I can come away when I’ve had enough or need a rest.

“The staff are absolutely brilliant. Everyone is so good, I can’t praise them highly enough. I said to my friend ‘you just feel safe here’. Coming here has made a massive difference to me and my family. I feel free again.”

The Bolton News:

The Bolton News has launched Save the Hospice Campaign after the hospice is running at a £1.2million loss and could be forced to cut nearly a third of its beds. 

To see our fundraiser, follow this link:

To learn more about Bolton Hospice and the work they do, visit: