Christmas is coming and we're fundraising for CancerCare!

on Friday, 07 December 2018. Posted in Blog Tags Barrow, Blog, cancer, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, South Cumbria, southlakeland, Ulverston

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Good afternoon! It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, as the song goes. This week has certainly brought Christmas well into focus for many!


On Monday I spent a great hour or so catching up with our President, Malcolm McIllmurray - always a pleasure and Malcolm continues to show so much interest in all of our work and development.

I spent a few minutes, as you can probably tell, in the art room with a few colleagues as we took part in our wellness art class. It really was good to take just 10 minutes out of the day to do this. My effort is proudly hanging on our Christmas tree in the lounge here in Lancaster.


Monday ended with the last meeting of the calendar year of Trustees.

In addition to an amazing session led by Dr David Eaton who talked about the work on Oncology in Morecambe Bay and shared some national facts. The Trustees considered a number of key reports, the most notable one was the support given to CancerCare pursuing the purchase of our very own support centre in Barrow to complement our two fantastic centres in Kendal and Barrow.

This is very exciting. Clearly more work needs to be progressed and I am pushing forward with this. Watch this space as this develops.

Another update from the Trustees concerned the work on our values, Andrew (our chair) has received everyone's feedback about the current values and plans to have reviewed it all by early Feb so the new ones can be shared and adopted. This will complete the total work done by everyone on the Mission, Vision and Values.

Wednesday was of course our annual Leighton Hall Christmas Fair, this brings the number of Christmas fairs held this year to three, with Ambleside and Kendal holding their own very successful events earlier in the month.


I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of the day, we are still counting the income but it has done well. A massive thank you to Suzie Reynolds, her family and staff, who allow us to take over their home for the day. The pictures sum up the “backroom” work done by so many. Thank you!

After the clear up at Leighton Hall, I drove down to another Christmas event which was the launch of the memory tree run at the Old Tithe Barn Pub in Garstang, one of the Mitchell's pubs who are one of our 'Keeping Good Company'business partnership scheme members.

I met the new Landlady, Anita, who is really supportive. Now in its third year, they are hoping that the tree will raise lots of money for CancerCare. The photo shows the tree, I suspect by Christmas it will be full of memory ribbons.

Last night I was invited to attend the launch of the 'Lancaster Story' at Lancaster Town Hall hosted by Susan Parsonage, the council's CEO.

It was a good evening to network and hear about the plans for the continued economic, cultural, educational and overall aspirations for Lancaster City and region.

Despite the gloom stories, I believe there is much to be optimistic about Lancaster as a place to live, work and play and that goes for the surrounding area too.

Tonight, of course, for those CancerCare party animals is our Christmas party at the Borough. I am looking forward to a good night out with everyone. David Haworth has promised not to drink too much and stay off the ice rink!

This weekend Alan and I are finishing putting up the Christmas decorations in the house and Sunday is what we fondly call the pudding and cake run, where we meet my cousin who makes an amazing cake and pudding for us and we meet over a nice Sunday lunch to retrieve it!

Have a good weekend



Neil Townsend

Chief Executive Officer