Charity may have to cut services as it loses £500,000 a month

Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland say demand for its helpline and community service is up 80% from last year.

Charity may have to cut services as it loses £500,000 a month Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland

A charity that helps Scots with chest, heart and stroke conditions may have to stop its services soon as it loses £500,000 a month during lockdown.

Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS), which supports 29,000 people across the country, said it has been particularly busy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Demand for its helpline and community support service is up 80% from last year as many vulnerable people are worried about the impact of Covid-19.

But the charity said it can no longer fundraise through its usual shops and events so it may have to end some of its essential services within a few months.

A group of people living with chest, heart and stroke conditions have written an open letter to the public pleading for help to save CHSS.

Stroke survivor Debbie Matthew, heart attack survivor Euan Cameron and Richard Cowan, who is living with lung condition COPD, urged people to donate to the charity.

They said: “You were there for us when our lives changed forever – and you continue to give us strength.

“Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland has always been there for people with our conditions but it is losing half a million pounds a month.

“The jobs of the lifeline nurses and support workers who are there for us and our families are under threat.”

They added: “Your donation matters. It will fund a nurse to always be at the end of a phone.

“It will make sure someone who understands will be there to help in our time of need.”

Many people who use the charity’s services are within the “shielded” group who have been told to stay at home entirely during the Covid-19 outbreak, as they are at the highest risk from the disease.

Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive at CHSS, called for donations, said: “Right now, more people in Scotland than ever before are in desperate need for our help.

“As a charity, we have been here for over 125 years, fighting Scotland’s biggest killers, and we won’t give up now.

“Without donations, some services could close in a matter of months,” she added.