A campaign to buy a new minibus for a hospice has reached its £78,000 target ahead of schedule.
The previous Lakelands Hospice vehicle was proving difficult to keep roadworthy and needed a new engine and suspension, so in July 2013 the decision was taken to start a fundraising campaign to buy a new one.
The fundraising team approached trust and grant providers, local companies and the people of Corby and the surrounding villages to help them raise the £78,000 needed.
They hoped to reach the target by early 2016, but it was reached in September this year.
Fundraising manager Paul Marlow said: “It was a real challenge to raise the funds needed and we are delighted to have reached the target ahead of schedule.
“I would like to thank all the trusts and grants, corporate supporters and general public who supported us.”
Founder trustee Vic Hardy commented: “The new bus will make a real difference to the lives of patients who benefit, and allows us to continue to provide our award-winning levels of care into the local community. Lakelands is able to accept referrals from patients within a 20 mile radius of Corby; the new minibus will make this a far more pleasurable experience.”
The keys to the new minibus were handed over by the Mayor of Corby Cllr Anthony Dady.
Following the extension of its Hospice at Home service, Lakelands must now raise in excess of £475,000 a year, which is an additional £100,000 on its current target.
Its Hospice at Home Care service aims to provide people with overnight care when they are within the last month of their life.
It allows people to stay at home so they can have the best possible quality of life.
The service started in August 2010 and now receives referrals from all five GP surgeries in Corby.
Any Lakelands patient who has used its day services in the earlier stages of their illness, can also use the service, which is available 365 days a year.
The Hospice at Home service also provides respite care for patients and their families, typically for two or three nights a week, to allow relatives and carers to catch up on their sleep.
Lakelands nurse manager Cathy Langtree said: “How people die remains in the memory of those who live on and it is important to get this right.
“Our service aims to give patients choice and for us to make that choice become a reality.”
Lakelands does not get any Government funding and relies on the generosity and support of the local community to keep running.