Julia's House hospice in Dorset to shut for 36 days as donations fall

Julia's House hospice
Image caption The hospice was set up in memory of Julia Perks, a children's nurse who died of cancer in 1997

A Dorset hospice says it will have to close for 36 days next year because of a fall in donations.

Julia's House, in Corfe Mullen, cares for terminally-ill children but is axing its Monday pre-school sessions.

The hospice said it had to act after estimating it will miss its donations target by £250,000 this year.

Chief executive Martin Edwards said donations from fundraising events were down about 20% compared to last year while donations are down about 30%.

He added: "We find that more people are giving, but people are giving less.

'Very sad'

"This is a very emotive cause, we look after children who will die young in Dorset. We help them in their own homes and they come to the hospice regularly and we support their family.

"We are going to have to close the hospice on 36 days... that's very, very sad, but that is the way we will be able to keep going.

"But it will mean every child who is eligible for our care will still be cared for by Julia's House."

The charity, whose patrons include actor Martin Clunes and football manager Harry Redknapp, opened the hospice in 2006.

It was set up in memory of Julia Perks, a children's nurse who died of cancer in 1997.

The charity can provide care for up to 10 children at one time at the hospice as well as overnight care at weekends.

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