Farewell to a dear friend of CancerCare

on Friday, 09 March 2018. Posted in Blog Tags barrow, blog, cancer, CancerCare, chief executive, furness, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, southlakeland

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Hello. At least this week is a bit warmer than last.

You can see from the photo that Alan and I were well wrapped up as we ventured out onto the Shropshire hills walking. It was -10 degrees but despite the cold, it was lovely. I am glad you all got through the 'Beast from the East'.

My first day back to work was warmed with an excellent staff meeting, the first of our meetings in 2018. The agenda was both informative and, I hope, engaging as we covered a wide range of topics and issues.

Hopefully all present got a sense of the business planning process and the challenges we face but also how much thought and planning is put into this by the Senior Management Team and the trustees to ensure we stay financially healthy.

As we heard, the depth and breadth of work in CancerCare is not just about the money. We heard some great forward plans from Ingrid Kent regarding our excellent external and internal communications, exciting news about our range of 2018 CancerCare fundraising events from Anna Saczek, inspiring news from Alison Stainthorpe about our continuing work with Mind to ensure that workplace culture is nothing short of great and finally a sneak peek into the work that Charmaine Rothwell is leading with our teenage service user group.

Since my last blog when I talked about the negative fallout from the Oxfam situation, other matters of grave concern have come to light in other charities.

The issues surrounding the safeguarding and protection of vulnerable people have never been so critical. I hear you say, well we have got good policies and procedures, which is of course true, but I just want to remind everyone that if you see anything that you believe is not right, you must report it.

The see, think, act message is key. This way we can ensure that we recruit staff and volunteers safely, supporting them and keeping them up to date with training so we can all carry out our duties safely and protect the interests of all our clients.

Earlier in the week I attended a training seminar on Reserves policies for charities.

It was well attended and very useful, confirming, as I hoped it would, that our approach is really sound and most definitely seen as good practice. Fiona, our wonderful treasurer, has certainly helped us here and kept us on the ball! Thanks Fiona.

International Women’s Day
Yesterday, the 8th of March, was International Women’s Day. This is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements in women.

The day also marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity. It served to me as a reminder about how workplace equality in all its forms is central to a great workplace culture, one where we can all be ourselves and be therefore able to flourish.

It would appear that we are achieving a positive workplace culture and continue to work and develop as teams and individuals, maintaining a balance of accountability, direction and equality. We all have our part to play in this, the end result being the service quality we deliver to all of our clients.

Graham Marsh (left of picture) RIP

 Earlier this week I learned from Den Bray about the death of Graham Marsh, known to many of us here for his work as the secretary of the Bay Prostate Cancer Support Group.

In my letter to Eileen his wife I said: “Graham's work as a volunteer member of the Bay Prostate Cancer Support Group is the stuff of legends and we have all been very lucky to benefit from his personal commitment and devotion.

"He will, I have no doubt, be missed by many, however, what he has brought to his own life and to that of others will live on and be very much part of his lasting legacy."

Graham it was a pleasure to get to know you.

The weekend beckons again, they do come around quickly.

Alan and I have the decorators in at home, so we have a lot of sorting out to do but we are treating ourselves to a meal tomorrow evening at Simply French. We will toasting both our mum who are sadly no longer with us. So Happy Mother’s Day to all our CancerCare mums!

Have a good weekend

Neil Townsend
Chief Executive Officer