Essex business leaders told they can still be charitable in a recession

CHARITIES are finding money matters just as tough as the country comes out of its two-year recession, business leaders have been told.

Members of the Stansted Business Lunch Club gathered in Takeley last week for a talk from St Clare Hospice chief executive Richard Cowie on the challenges his organisation faces.

Discussing how locally sourced funds have dipped in recent times he said that the problems they face in developing plans for hospice care are “huge”.

“Whilst our loyal corporate supporters have remained incredibly generous they are themselves under immense financial pressure,” he said.

“Weston Homes has been fantastically supportive of the hospice over many years, raising �30,000 this year.

“However the reality is that many others have had to remove their support and equally others that are keen to get involved with a local care charity just aren’t able to.”

Currently 26 per cent of the �2.3million in running costs at St Clare’s are met by NHS funding, the rest is gathered via donations and fundraising events.

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As a result Mr Cowie is asking business leaders to step up and help in different ways, such as volunteering.

He said: “Whilst we need to raise a substantial sum each year to enable us to provide specialist care to hundreds of people, we know that for the business community this isn’t a realistic option at present.

However I would like to take the opportunity to invite companies to consider volunteering or perhaps getting involved in other ways.”

Anyone who would like to support St Clare Hospice can call (01279) 773 700 or visit

The Stansted Business Lunch Club meets regularly to enable local businesses to network and discuss hot topics which affect their business and community.