STAFF at Kirkwood Hospice hope companies are already getting into the Christmas spirit.

The Dalton hospice is asking firms across Kirklees to send hospice corporate Christmas cards to their clients this year and help to raise thousands of pounds for the hospice.

Two paintings given by Dewsbury artist Richard Gawthorpe have been selected for the hospice’s 2008 Christmas cards.

The first features Sude Hill at New Mill and the second depicts Nortonthorpe Hall at Mirfield.

Production of the cards has been sponsored by Barclays Private Members Club, ensuring that all the money from the sale of the cards goes to the hospice.

Last year the sale of the cards raised almost £20,000 for the cause.

All cards can be personalised with a company’s logo, address and their own seasonal message.

Hospice spokeswoman Jane Dutton said: “The cards provide local businesses with the opportunity to send seasonal greetings to their customers while showing their support for Kirkwood.

“Many local companies have employees or clients whose families have had first hand experience of our services.

“By choosing our Christmas cards they can help to support the vital work of the hospice.”

Kirkwood provides specialist care for people in Kirklees facing life-threatening illness.

All its services are free and designed to care not only for the patient, but their family and friends. This year Kirkwood’s annual running costs are over £3.9m, only a fifth of which comes from the local primary care trust and the Government.

Contact Jane Dutton on 01484 557911 or email