A Message from Martin Warhurst

19 March 2020

At a very difficult time, I wanted to update you - our families, staff, volunteers and supporters - on the plans that Martin House has in place to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak and the challenges that we are facing.

Provision of Care

This week, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel all planned breaks for families, at least until the end of May. We will still be providing urgent symptom control, end of life care and stays in our cooled bedrooms. We will continue to do this for as long as we can, working closely with healthcare providers across the region.

Our Staff

Where possible, our hospice support services are working from home but those who make a direct contribution to care – nursing staff, doctors, housekeeping, catering and maintenance – are working incredibly hard to make sure that Martin House can stay open.

Our ‘front-line’ workforce are delivering care in difficult circumstances and we cannot thank them enough.
We have suspended all volunteering except in our charity shops and whilst these remain open, we have asked ‘at risk’ volunteers to stay at home. Any of our staff or volunteers who fall within the ‘at risk’ categories are being asked to self-isolate in line with government guidelines.

Fundraising Income

There is no easy way to put this – our ability to raise the money needed for our care services is going to suffer. The London Marathon, just one of many events, has been postponed which means this income will be delayed. We’re also looking to reschedule some of our upcoming public fundraising events. Full details of these will be posted on our website.

Whilst your focus rightly needs to be on yourself and your loved ones now, I would like to make a personal plea for you to still do what you can to support Martin House during these very difficult times. No matter how big or small, your gift will help us continue to offer vital support for the babies, children, young people and families across our region who need us more than ever. We are also still providing our round the clock on-call Doctor support for those families needing support from our palliative care consultants.

Our website and social media sites give ideas on ways in which you can keep your support going during these uncertain times and we will continue to keep these updated.

We’ll continue to care

This situation is changing hour by hour and day by day, and we will endeavour to keep everyone involved with the hospice as up to date as possible on how this affects care, volunteering and our invaluable fundraising.

As a charity, we face tough times ahead. In the 32 years that Martin House has been delivering care to local families, I’m sure that this is our toughest challenge yet. The future is uncertain but we ask you to support us to give us the best possible chance of coming through this as soon as is possible. We remain dedicated to offering support to those in urgent need and we are grateful for anything you can do in the coming months to help us to do this. 

With heartfelt thanks for all that you have done, and all that you continue to do. Please stay safe and look after yourselves and your loved ones.


Martin Warhurst

Chief Executive, Martin House