A will-writing initiative has raised almost £10,000 for Barnsley Hospice, providing much-needed income during a challenging year for the charity.

Make a Will Month was held in February and saw local solicitors waive their fees in exchange for a donation. It is the seventh year the fundraiser has taken place, with donations going directly to supporting patients and their families.

Sue Jennings is a legal executive at Barnsley-based Bury & Walkers LLP and has supported the initiative since 2013. Sue, who is retiring in September, said: “I know the hospice relies on donations and fundraising an awful lot and we’re very happy to help. Each year we raise around £5,000 - which is a lot of wills written in 28 days! Our clients appreciate the time we give to Make a Will Month too; the hospice holds a special place in the hearts and minds of many.”

The other Barnsley-based legal firms who gave their time for free in support of the 2020 fundraiser were Best Solicitors, Elmhirst Parker LLP, Ison Harrison Solicitors, Newman & Bond Solicitors, Peace Legal Limited, Pennine Law Solicitors, and Wosskow Brown LLP.

Janet O’Hara, grants, trusts and legacies fundraiser at Barnsley Hospice, said: “The support we have received for this initiative over the years has been astonishing. We are extremely grateful for the kindness of the legal professionals who waive their fees to provide this service, and to the clients who generously donate to our charity instead. The £10,000 raised this year has been so important, especially under the continuing difficult circumstances.”

Barnsley Hospice is appealing for support after seeing many of its summer fundraising events cancelled due to coronavirus. The hospice also lost money from the temporary closure of its charity shops, and retail sales are still down by over 55 per cent. Overall, the hospice is still losing around £2,300 per day.

Barnsley Hospice provides compassionate, high-quality care for anyone in the borough with a progressive life-limiting illness, including cancer, motor neurone disease and heart disease.

The charity needs to raise over £2m each year to fund patient care and support for families. A further £1.6m is provided by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).