A second community fundraising day for Hospiscare will be held in Budleigh Salterton later this month.

Wendy’s Day, a summer fete at St Peter’s Church Hall, was first held in June 2022 in memory of Wendy Jones, a locally well-known resident who died of cancer in 2020. She was looked after by Hospiscare, and her grieving husband Stuart wanted to raise funds for the charity in gratitude for its support for both of them during her final days. The day was a great success and brought in around £3,500 for Hospiscare.

This year Wendy’s Day will take place on Saturday, July 27, and comes at a time when Hospiscare has had to cut the number of inpatient beds because of an NHS funding shortfall. Organiser Kim Holmes lost her own brother to cancer earlier this year, and he was cared for by Hospiscare – but the charity can no longer support as many people as before.

Kim said: “I was so upset to learn that they had beds closed due to not being able to fund them. I could not believe that there are many people out there, suffering as they are dying, due to not being able to get a bed there.

“This has made us determined to raise as much money as we can, to help others, as much as my dear brother was helped. Being able to die with dignity and with no pain is all we wished for him.”

Like the original Wendy’s Day, the July 27 event will feature stalls selling books, toys, plants, crafts, home-made cakes and bric-a-brac. Kim is appealing for donations of these items, and others to offer as raffle prizes.

Anyone who would like to help can contact Kim on 01395 446836.

Hospiscare’s funding shortfall and the cuts to beds and services were announced in November 2023. The charity has been been receiving only 18 per cent of its annual funding from NHS Devon, compared to an average of 37 per cent for similar hospice services elsewhere in the country.

In March Hospiscare was awarded an extra £480,000 by NHS Devon for the current financial year. The charity said this was ‘a step in the right direction’ but warned that it was still not enough to retain the existing level of care services.