A YORK hospice is appealing for the public’s help as it faces losing hundreds of thousands of pounds of fundraising due to the coronavirus pandemic.

St Leonard’s Hospice, in Tadcaster Road, has had to postpone fundraising events that were scheduled to take place over the coming months, with a few expected to be cancelled, and its shops have all been closed due to the Government’s advice on social distancing.

The charity, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, has now launched the Unite and Protect campaign to help raise vital funds to ensure its staff can keep caring for those who need it.

The hospice’s chief executive Emma Johnson said: “As well as protecting patients and staff, we must also consider the financial impact of COVID-19 on the hospice.

“Fundraising events scheduled to take place over the coming months have been postponed and our shops have all been closed.

“At this time of increased need and reduced income, please unite behind your local hospice, so our fantastic staff can care for everyone that needs us.

“We have been part of your local community for 35 years and, with your support, we will be here for the next 35 and beyond.”

As part of the campaign, the hospice aims to provide some free activities for the community but is asking for optional donations.

Anyone wishing to support the hospice and make a donation can do so on its website - www.stleonardshospice.org.uk - or on its Just Giving page - https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/uniteandprotect.

St Leonard’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care and support for local people with life-limiting illnesses.

Its running costs are £5.8 million a year.