A double whammy of a 300 per cent increase in electricity charges and higher than expected staff pay rises have left Isle of Wight charity Mountbatten reeling.

While not begrudging its hard-working employees a penny of their pay rise, the 4.8 per cent increase has added £500,000 of costs to the hospice and outreach services.

And the jump in electricity prices, from £70,000 in 2021/22 to £300,000 in 22/23 has added to the pressure.

Scroll down to see video of Nigel at the hospice.

Isle of Wight County Press: Nigel Hartley outside Mountbatten Hospice.Nigel Hartley outside Mountbatten Hospice. (Image: Newsquest)

Chief executive Nigel Hartley has asked Islanders to support the charity now more than ever. 

In an exclusive interview with the Isle of Wight County Press he said he realised Islanders were suffering their own hardships at this time and it was hard to ask for more from them.

He said: "We know our community is struggling.

"We are all having to pay more for electricity, gas, food and everything else but we are not immune from these issues.

"The Ukraine war carries on and the future is very much unknown. Similarly, the 4.8 per cent pay award to the NHS could yet be more.

"We need to follow that as our staff deserve it."

He said "We have an old building that is not particularly suitable for sustainable energy so electricity is a huge cost for us.

"The Ukraine situation couldn't have been foreseen so we couldn't plan for it.

"Food costs etc are another thing that are rising.

Rising pressures from Isle of Wight population

Nigel outlined the increased workload on the organisation but said they did not want to turn anyone away who needed their help.

He said "The number of people we have helped has gone up by 200 per cent in the past few years and is now at around 2,000 looked after at home.

"Add to that the 16 beds in the hospice and around 200 people seen in the John Cheverton Centre each day and you get a picture of the need for our services."

So what can Islanders do?

Nigel said there were two less-than-palatable options. Wither to cut services or get more help from the public.

"We don't have any plans to cut services so we would like Islanders, wherever possible, to do the following:"

  • Support our fundraising events
  • Turn out in big numbers for Walk the Wight
  • Consider a legacy to Mountbatten
  • Give their time and expertise as volunteers
  • Download an advanced care plan HERE to help Mountbatten understand your end-of-life care needs.

With 2023 looking tough, Nigel's message is: "We know how much the Isle of Wight does for us and we don't like coming out with the begging bowl but if you can help at this really tough time then please do."