Cranford Hospice is "looking down the barrel of a financial crisis" following the cancellation of its biggest annual fundraiser.
This week the organisers of the Hawke's Bay Wine Auction made the decision to cancel the event.
Hospice chief executive officer Janice Byford‑Jones said the cancellation was devastating.
"The decision was not made lightly by the hard-working wine auction committee, however their priority is to keep all involved healthy and safe and work within Covid-19 restrictions, which I fully support," Byford-Jones said.
"That said, it's our biggest fundraiser and we have lost about $300,000.
"It will definitely put us in a very difficult position and means we are looking down the barrel of a financial crisis."
She said it would cost the hospice $6.9 million to provide specialist palliative care services to the Hawke's Bay community this year.
After Hawke's Bay District Health Board funding, Cranford would still need to raise the remaining $3.4 million from the community.
This would normally be done with $1.2m of income from community fundraising events and other funds from retail stores, bequests and grants.
Byford-Jones said while the hospice had lost out on some much-needed funds, there had been an increase in the demand for their services.
"June to June, we have had a 25 per cent increase in the demand for our services.
"It's a reflection on the impact of our services in the community, and a reflection of the fact that people can rely on our holistic approach to care."
She said the hospice was faced with some stark realities.
"We, as a region, have an ageing population and that's the reality we are going to face going forward.
"Raising funds is critical to our care."
The hospice was holding an emergency appeal which would include sending out a letter to supporters next week.
"At any given moment we are looking after more than 200 patients at their homes.
"We also have an in-patient unit, which has availability for six patients who require acute complex care."
She said the Cranford Hospice Trust Board would be holding a board meeting on October 28 to discuss how the hospice would cope following the financial loss.
"With the financial loss, how will the care for these people come about?"
The hospice has 80 staff on the books and the finances would cover staff salary as well.
"We acknowledge that we are not the only ones facing financial difficulty, however the bleak reality is that Cranford Hospice's essential services are at stake," she said.
"We are calling on the support of our community."
Donating funds would help people in the community like Aimee Steel, whose father was in hospice care for a fortnight this time last year.
Steel spoke fondly about the nurses who cared for her dad in his home and the relief the 24/7 support provided to the whole family.
She has also started a Givealittle page to fundraise for the hospice.
"There was so much comfort in knowing you could call the hospice any time and they would be there to talk you through any concerns," Steel said.
She was also able to access counselling and appreciated the lessons she learnt to help make her grieving process healthier.
"I'm so thankful that they helped me bring the best version of myself that I could to this rollercoaster. I'm so grateful for their support that helped get me through."
To donate go to- www.cranfordhospice.org.nz/donate