Neil's Blog #27

on Friday, 11 December 2015. Tags CancerCare, IMSMaxims, Kendal, Lancaster, livingwage, localcharity, NorthLancashire, SouthLakeland, StormDesmond, volunteers

Good Morning at the end of what I can only describe as a week of challenge and contrast. Who would have thought that this time last week we would be on the eve of some of the worst local flooding ever seen?

As you have noticed we have been doing our bit to offer support and I am pleased that apart from disruption caused by power failure, both our centres have remained open and operational. I am aware that a number of our volunteers and clients have had their homes flooded. We can only offer them, as we have done our support at this time.

THANKSThe news has been full of stories about how communities and individuals have pulled together this week. We are not short of a few great examples ourselves. Here are a few that have come to my attention:

Chloe, one of our young volunteers in Kendal. Her family home flooded, but despite this she was still determined to rescue and bring in the hamper she has put together for us to raffle

The volunteers who turned up at the bag pack at Morrison’s in Kendal on Sunday, despite the weather and journey

Daniel, Jo’s husband who did a bread run for some of our staff and volunteers earlier this week, bringing bread from Garstang to Lancaster.

All our staff and volunteers deserve a massive 'thank you' for getting into work and making sure that our clients have been looked after. You are all stars!

On Monday evening our Trustee meeting went ahead, despite the power cut! We had a really productive meeting and although we agreed to defer a couple of items we still managed to debate our risk strategy, which is work in progress, look back with pride on the immense amount of positive publicity CancerCare has had this year. We also noted the appointment of two new trustees, who will be joining the board in January. These are Anne Mayo, who lives in Penny Bridge, Ulverston. Ann has recently retired from the Probation Service where she was Director of Legal Services and Human Resources. She is married to a local clergyman. The second appointment is Shane Tickell, who lives in Kendal and is the CEO of IMS MAXIMS. This is the IT company that suppled our IMS system. I am sure both Ann and Shane will bring a wealth of complementary skills to an already super board. It is also good to achieve a geographical spread of trustees who live across our 'patch'.

LIVINGWAGE

Fact, we are!

I have spent sometime this week gathering together the first draft of our budget for 2016/17, more on this after the holiday. One challenge that many organisations are facing is the living wage which will come into force next April. I am pleased to say that we will be fully compliant with this from day one, which is good news and something to celebrate.

On Wednesday Andrea and I spent the day at a conference for support groups which was funded by Rosemere and hosted by CancerCare, CancerHelp and Rosemere. This was a highly productive day, the highlight being the key note speaker Mark Davies, author of 'Saving My Arse: A story of Cancers, Colons and Singapore Noodles.' Funny, touching and above else thought provoking.

PUDDINGWe still have a few special Christmas puddings and for those who prefer sticky toffee puddings left to sell. I am told they are gorgeous. Please get yours whilst you can. I have got one of each as I like them both!

Tonight is the CancerCare Christmas party, I think there are 50 of us going out which is a record. Looking forward to a great evening. I must say a big thank you to Sue and Jen who have organised and sorted it all out. No easy task!

Thank you very much.