Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 17:42 UK

Hospice has nearly 6m in Iceland

A special light room at Naomi House hospice
Naomi House children's hospice provides palliative care

A hospice providing long-term care for terminally ill children and their families has 5.7m invested in one of the troubled Icelandic banks.

Naomi House in Winchester said the money was deposited with Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander.

The hospice needs 2.5m every year to provide 24-hour care. It said it would still open its new 12m hospice for over 18s, but would be "stretched".

It has contacted the government to clarify whether the sum is protected.

"This situation does leave a significant gap in our financial reserves at this immediate time.

'Vital lifeline'

"However, we are still able to move forward with our plans to open jacksplace@naomihouse, the new hospice for young people, but we will be stretched to do so," a spokesman said.

Claire Bates, 35, from Hampshire, whose five-year-old son Noah occasionally stays at the hospice, said: "We, like dozens of other families who benefit from the vital lifeline that Naomi House provides, really hope that the money can be re-couped.

"There can be few more worthy recipients.

"The staff and volunteers do an incredible job and without them, more than 200 families would face the uphill struggle of caring for children with life limiting and life-threatening conditions alone."

We have the necessary reserves in the short to medium term to weather the storm
Professor Khalid Aziz,

Wessex Children's Hospice Trust

The Naomi House spokesman added that while the sum was "significant" it did not jeopardise any of the hospice's services.

"We have funds in place to safeguard the continuing costs of providing support to children with life-limiting conditions and their families," he continued.

"Our prudent management of funds means that the trust is in a position to continue the delivery of high quality services to families across the Wessex region, without change, for the foreseeable future."

Prof Khalid Aziz, chair of Wessex Children's Hospice Trust, said: "Clearly this is potentially worrying news for our families, staff, volunteers and supporters, but I want to assure them that everything is being done to ensure full recovery of our funds.

"There will inevitably be some delay in receiving our money, but we believe we have the necessary reserves in the short to medium term to weather the storm.

"For all involved it is very much 'business as usual'."

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