By working together we can help more people with cancer

on Thursday, 19 April 2018. Posted in Blog Tags Barrow, Barrow in Furness, Blog, cancer, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, Macmillan, Macmillan Cancer Support, northlancashire, slynedales, southlakeland

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Good Morning, what an eventful week, full of surprises and time to reflect on our work and our collective commitment to do more to help people affected by cancer.

I was a guest at the official opening of the MacMillan Cancer Information centre, located in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Monday.

This new resource, which aims to be a point of information and warmth for cancer patients, families and health workers, has been a long time in the making but through determination and true partnership working it is now open.

It can only add a new dimension to the range of support, help and advice we can give to people in our area.


Future collectors’ items

Summer is here - or it feels like it - and Easter seems a distant memory but next Monday we conclude our hugely successful Big, Beautiful Egg Hunt with the auction of the 13 stunning artist-designed eggs. Online bidding is open so grab a unique piece of art and help such an amazing charity.

To view the eggs and place a bid please go to

My week was broken with a trip to London, along with our Head of Operations, Alison Stainthorpe to be present at the Mind Wellbeing Index awards.

Mind have made a commitment to improve the mental health and general well-being of one million workers in the UK by 2021.

It is the second year we have taken part in the index, receiving a Bronze Award last year.

This year we were presented with a Gold Award. We were one of only nine organisations out of 73 entrants to receive such an accolade.


Alison and I are so proud of what you have achieved as a team. The welfare of all our staff and volunteers was at the top of my agenda when I arrived here just over three years ago and I am delighted with the commitment we have all made to improve our workplace culture.

It still is at the top of my agenda because without our people, we are nothing. To be recognised like this amongst so many large national, multi-billion-pound organisations really did leave me speechless.

I would like to thank Alison and all the members of our well-being staff group - Georgina Whittle, Penny Swann and Tracey MacBride, for their own personal commitment to this work. We have more to do and remain committed to doing more as we move forward.

On my return to Lancaster I went straight to a meeting of the Living with and Beyond Cancer Project group. It was a chance to reflect on the progress being made as a result of the work, particularly with the cancer nurse specialists, the open general health and well-being events which are being evaluated but appear to have been a big success and how we are joining up patient experience and feedback in a much more productive manner.

Still time to vote

A massive thank you to our supporters who have already voted for us in the People’s Lottery Vote, our Facebook activity has gone viral, which is fantastic. Please keep spreading the word in any way you can and register you vote by email or by post. One thing is clear if we win, we can do more in Barrow and continue to try and meet the needs of this community.

On Friday I am looking forward to taking part with a number of other local leaders in the Common Purpose programme being run at Lancaster University. They are hosting a ground-breaking leadership programme for aspiring leaders who have a disability and have asked myself and others to share our own leadership development story, what barriers we have had, key turning points etc. For me it’s been an opportunity for a bit of personal reflection. If I can say anything that may help or inspire a leader of tomorrow, then I am pleased to be taking part.

Alan and I hope this weekend to finish the painting of the shed! As well as spending time in our garden, we have our friends Louise, Rob and dog Indie over on Saturday for dinner and a sleep over. Whatever you are doing, have a good one.



Neil Townsend

Chief Executive Officer