THE Ayrshire Hospice has been successful in securing over £350,000 in funding.

The boost to the tune of £351,424 came from The National Lottery Community Fund and the significant three-year grant will support the continuation of the existing Ayrshire-wide Respite and Response (R&R) Service currently delivered by the hospice.

Lynne Carmichael, Respite and Response Team Manager said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been successful in our National Lottery application.

“The Respite and Response Service has been running for over six years now and has been able to demonstrate, time and time again, the meaningful difference it makes to patients and families across Ayrshire who are coping with a life-limiting illness, during times that can be very difficult for everyone. This welcome funding boost secures the future of this vital service for the next three years”.

The Respite and Response Service delivers a range of practical and psychological support to carers and patients with a life-limiting illness who want to die at home. “Respite” visits are provided to allow the carer much needed time out and “response” visits are arranged to offer additional support at times of increased need, such as a crisis or rapidly changing health. Complementary therapies for family care givers and patients are also provided to promote wellbeing and weekly social and peer support for family care givers is available within the carers cafe. These activities and the support the service provides help to reduce the stress, isolation and loneliness of the care givers and improve their wellbeing and resilience.

During 2017-18 the Respite and Response Service made over 1,400 visits to 371 patients across Ayrshire and Arran. The R&R Service was able to help 97% of those patients to stay in their preferred place of care and 92% of the patients who died were able to die in the place they had chosen.

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that the Ayrshire Hospice has been successful in securing a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund. The award will make a big difference where it is needed most and I wish the Respite and Response team every success as they go on to develop and expand their project for the benefit of their local community.”