Barnsley people are being urged to use their time in lockdown to make a will for free in exchange for a donation to Barnsley Hospice.

Several local solicitors are waiving their fees and offering telephone and video appointments to hospice supporters as part of the charity’s annual ‘Make a Will Month’.

Bookings are now being taken for a limited number of appointments in February.

Janet O'Hara, of the Barnsley Hospice fundraising team, said: “Make a Will Month is an important annual fundraiser which raises thousands of pounds for the hospice whilst, at the same time, encouraging people to sort out their wills, a job which so many of us put off.

“At the moment, face to face appointments aren’t possible, but our participating solicitors are still giving their time free of charge and talking to people over the phone or via video call. We hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity during lockdown to make a will and make a much-appreciated donation to patient care.”

Suggested minimum donations for simple wills are £90 for a single will and £175 for a pair of mirror wills. These donations represent an average saving of around £70 on usual fees.

Whilst all gifts are of course very welcome, there is no obligation to leave anything to the hospice in your will through this scheme.

Kay Bennett, aged 65, took part in Barnsley Hospice’s Make a Will Month last year. She said: “The hospice's Make a Will Month was just the nudge we needed to get on with updating our will. It's so important to have a will to ensure that your wishes are carried out and it also makes it so much easier for your family. I have a long association with the hospice and support them when I can. It has been such a difficult time for fundraising, so I would urge everyone to make their will with a solicitor taking part in the scheme this year."

Barnsley Hospice needs to raise over £2m each year to fund patient care and support for families. It relies entirely on fundraising and donations to achieve this amount. An additional £1.6m is provided to the hospice by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).