A reflective time as year draws to a close

on Friday, 14 December 2018. Posted in Blog Tags Barrow, Blog, cancer, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, south cumbria, southlakeland

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Hello!. Who can believe that we are almost at the end of another year - where does the time go?

 Supporters, staff and volunteers at our Barrow and Furness 'Thank You Event' on Thursday

Monday commenced with a very informative staff meeting. My thanks to everyone who contributed to the meeting.

Andrea Partridge’s presentation for me really highlighted just what has happened in terms of influence and engagement across Morecambe Bay and the ever increasing respect CancerCare receives from so many, not least the clients we are here to give support to.

Sarah Collins' nutrition talk was enlightening to say the least - will all of us look at a mince pie quiet the same again?

It was apt that later in the day Andrea and I travelled up to Ambleside to attend the Ambleside Drop in Christmas Lunch. We had a great time and it was a lovely opportunity for me to thank this lively group for all the work they do in supporting, raising profile and fundraising, all in the name of CancerCare.

Our thoughts were with Joan Newby who was unable to attend due to being unwell at the moment. We all wish Joan a speedy recovery. Andrea and I walked across the road by the lake, taking a selfie on the way, to go and see her after our lunch and despite being ill she was still in good spirits and soon had us both laughing.

On Tuesday I was in Kendal at a meeting of the Kendal Gateway. We have recently gone through our first round of awarding small grants to local community groups on behalf of South Lakeland District Council who have handed over this job to the Gateway and the cash pot that goes with it.


It’s been a real success and a good way of the larger Gateway Charity members being in contact with a huge number of small organisations who all work in and around Kendal.

We also started a useful discussion about how cross-charity and particularly operational working partnerships, need to be established and embedded in the area as this is a clear weakness and does not help any of us. This will be taken forward early in 2019.

On Wednesday I attended the Fundraising team meeting and was able to report back on the Trustee support for the new fundraising strategy and plan.

We will be taking forward key elements of this as soon as we can.

On Thursday I spent most of the day and evening in Barrow. However, I called in on my way to wish the Kendal Drop In members a happy Christmas. Like all our drop ins, we rely on key people to organise them so thank you.

Then it was on to Barrow. My first visit was to attend a lunch hosted by BAE Systems to receive a grant award following our successful submission to their 'Give as you earn payroll scheme'.


Our Barrow and Furness team

I was delighted to receive a cheque for £1,500. Emma Athersmith, our Barrow and Furness fundraiser and I then spent the rest of the afternoon visiting a number of key new or potential corporate supporters, ending the day celebrating and thanking the Barrow and Furness area volunteers who have so far helped us and be recruited to be part of the ever growing CancerCare family. A great way to end the working day.

The K2B presentation

Later this morning I will be attending the Finance Subcommittee, we will be looking in detail at our latest year-end financial forecast and commencing the detailed work on next year’s budget and business plan.

This is a key piece of work and enables us to plan in the best possible way.

Tonight, of course, is the much anticipated CancerCare Strictly Come Dancing swing dance competition at the town hall in Lancaster.

 Good luck CancerCare team!

Anna Webster, Ingrid Kent and I are attending and are really looking forward to hearing the big band and watching each of our CancerCare dancers (Karen, Lynda, Linda and Margaret) strut their stuff! As a guest judge I hope I am giving out lots of tens…darlings!

Alan and I are making a quick trip down to Criccieth in North Wales tomorrow to see our friends Maureen and Jack and stay over for dinner.

They were due to visit us but have not been too well, so not wanting to break an almost 30 year Christmas tradition, we are heading to Wales. Who will be pick up the strictly glitter ball in our staff sweepstake? We will see. Whatever you are doing have a good weekend.



Neil Townsend, Chief Executive Officer