Keeping going and keeping growing

on Friday, 01 June 2018. Posted in Blog Tags blog, cancer, CancerCare, CEO, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, southlakeland

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Hello. I meet many inspiring people in the course of my work, be it colleagues working in the NHS striving to deliver the very best cancer service to local patients or seeing our staff in different teams and our counsellors all delivering amazing work in the name of CancerCare.

Last and my no means least, individual clients and supporters who want to share their own CancerCare story.

This week I spent some time with Stella Duffy, who along with her family held their annual Family Fun Day in memory of her daughter Alanna Duffy who tragically lost her life to leukaemia 10 years ago.

The festival-themed ‘AlannaFest’ on Sunday was a huge success. It was the comment which you will have read in the fundraising update, repeated below which I found so inspiring. That phrase “why do you do what you do for a living?” came easily to my mind.

Stella, Alanna’s mum, said: “Every bit of money for CancerCare helps.

"We love doing it. It’s so good doing something in memory of Alanna. It makes me feel fantastic. Alanna would have loved it because she was into music and dancing. She’d have loved seeing her face everywhere. It felt as if she was with us.”

On Tuesday I spent time following up a potential corporate supporter in Kendal and met with Charles Scott from Macbeth & Scott Solicitors in Kendal.

I hope we will agree a way in which they can support us in the future.

This was followed a catch up with Sue McGraw from St John’s Hospice over lunch, where we have agreed to host a third sector health partners meeting with Lancaster University to ensure that the linkages with the development of the new Health Innovation Campus are firmly established.

In the evening I attended a meeting of The Dukes Trustee Board.

One of the items we discussed was the recent dementia conference held at The Dukes as part of the “a life more ordinary” project which has been running for more than years.

It’s good for me to be on a board and see the dynamics from a different angle. The Dukes is so much more than a theatre and cinema and like CancerCare the commitment of both staff and volunteers is staggering.

Wednesday started with the weekly fundraising team meeting. Appraisals have continued this week and I think by the end of next week they will all be completed and everyone will have agreed a focus for the next six months and beyond aligned to our new three year plan.

The staff yoga session after work on Wednesday was simply great; a whole new discovery for me. Take a tip and, if you can, try it.

Today Alison Dixey, Andrea Partridge and I are meeting with Helen Greatorex, the CEO of Lancaster CAB, to explore ways in which we might be able to bid for some funds to support the delivery of a bespoke welfare benefits and money advice service for cancer patients.

It’s lovely to see Jen Knowles back at her desk following her recent operation. Welcome back Jen! 

Tonight (Friday) Alan and I have my cousin Susan and her husband David down from Millom for dinner and the evening we are then off for afternoon tea tomorrow at the Barn at Scorton which was a Christmas gift.

Sunday is free following the unfortunate postponement of our cross bay walk, so it will be a feet up day. Whatever you are doing have a great weekend.



Neil Townsend

Chief Executive Officer