Neil's Blog #50

on Friday, 05 August 2016. Posted in Blog Tags #cancersupport, Cancer Then & Now, CancerCare, Cross Bay Challenge, Fundraising, Fundraising Standards, Kendal, Lancaster, Macmillan Cancer Support

Good Morning from Slynedales, at the end of another exciting and busy week and, of course, on the eve of the weekend of our annual Cross Bay Challenge.

We have a huge number of supporters taking part and we simply could not arrange this event without the generosity of a large group of volunteers and staff members. So despite the early start, let’s have a super day! Be safe, have fun and raise some funds for CancerCare!

Wendy Pat Penny Helen Pam and Tracey Copy

My week started with my usual Monday catch up with the team followed by a really invigorating meeting of our Trustee Board, held in Kendal on Monday evening. We had a packed agenda, many of the reports being substantial.
It’s been a week of interesting research publications being released. One such research report on public trust and confidence in charities shows how overall trust has fallen this year. The report found that the drop can be attributed to critical media coverage of charity practices, distrust about how charities spend donations, and a lack of knowledge amongst the public about where their donations go. Perceptions of aggressive fundraising tactics have also contributed to the decline in trust and confidence.

So what does this mean for CancerCare? Well, to me, it simply sends us a clear message about doing more of what we are doing, being out in the community shouting from the rooftops about how local and accountable we are and being transparent about all our activities and costs. Ensuring our fundraising activities are ethical and based firmly within our community reach and that the new service developments and improvements  we put in place, meet need and are required.
thenandnowmacmillanThe second piece of interesting research released this week came from MacMillan. Entitled Cancer Now and Then – tracking the changes and development in Cancer treatments and support over the past 40 years - almost as long as CancerCare has been in existence. It’s a really interesting and worthwhile read containing some comments that rang so many bells for me including this quotation:

"People are now twice as likely to survive at least 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer than they were at the start of the 1970s."

In the past 40 years or so , better screening and advances in treatment mean we have seen a huge change in what a cancer diagnosis means; it is now a moment that is frequently not life-ending, but nearly always life-changing. For CancerCare, it means that the focus of what was started back in 1983 is still key, but the way we do it and the type of services we offer need to constantly reflect the changing nature of the disease and how people are living with it and indeed surviving more than ever before.

CancerCare Logo 2014 secondary.1

This was a sentiment I shared when I met up with Professor Malcolm McIllmurray, our Life President, at one of our regular catch up’s earlier this week. His counsel is still inspiring and his support for what you all do so enduring.

On Thursday I spent some time with Kate Shawcross from Napthens Solicitors based in Kendal who are keen to support us and are very interested in how we can help educate and support managers who face challenges with staff following a cancer diagnosis.

Later in the day, my fact finding mission linked to the development of services for teenagers continued with a really useful session with Jo Bambrough from Lancashire Youth Council, who hopes to be able to help us have a conversation with a group of local teenagers. Watch this space!

Have a good weekend. See you down on the Bay this Sunday!


Regards, Neil