Putting my best foot forward for CancerCare

on Friday, 18 May 2018. Posted in Blog Tags Barrow, Blog, C2B Walk, cancer, CancerCare, K2B Walk, Kendal, Keswick to Barrow, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, South Cumbria, southlakeland, ulverston

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Hello! Well, Alan and I did the Coniston to Barrow (K2B) walk in just over six hours, covering 21 miles.


It was a great day. Massive congratulations to the team of walkers from Kendal who did the full version from Keswick to Barrow - maybe next year for me!

Thank you to those friends who sponsored us both. There is still time to make a small donation if you are able, as I can confirm we did it.


Finally it was great to see the smiling CancerCare faces of Rachel Minshull, her daughter Gracie, her dad and massage therapist Stacey Whittle and marketing officer, Ingrid Kent, looking after one of the water stations. Well done everyone.

Monday started with our staff meeting and as is customary we had a rich and varied agenda.

The discussion we had about our vision and values was particularly engaging.

This builds nicely on the similar discussion held recently at our last therapists' meeting. If you have missed out on any of these meetings and wish to comment about the current vision and values, do they reflect what we do? Do you have any suggestions we should consider? If you do, please email me with any thoughts.

I then had a glorious drive to Ambleside to spend time at the drop in and deliver lots of materials to them for their upcoming flower festival and summer fair. It really is a powerhouse of activity, fun and friendship.

On Monday evening I spent time at a chamber of commerce members meet, held in the Royal Hotel in Lancaster. It was useful to mix with many business contacts who already support CancerCare and spread the word to new contacts. Vicky Lofthouse was, as usual, a great hostess.

On Tuesday I spent most of the day at the people make communities conference, held at the Clinical Commissioning Groups Offices in Lancaster.

It was a fascinating day, where representatives of all the third sector organisations spent time with officials from the NHS and the commissioners considering the immense health challenges we face across Morecambe Bay. The theme was we can only make a real difference by working together, which clearly there is a commitment to do.

Later that day I went across the road to the Dukes Theatre to be part of an interview panel for new trustees to join the board. Along the way I became a musketeer to promote this summer’s park show, not to be missed! If you have not been before or if you are a regular, I would recommend you book, take your family and friends and enjoy this unique theatre experience in our beautiful Williamson Park.

On Wednesday I was able to catch up on a number of things and then look forward to the return of our staff yoga class after work. It was great. If, like me, this is a total new experience, give it a go - it’s such a good use of an hour of time.

On Thursday evening I was delighted to attend along with Hilary, one of our Kendal reception volunteers, the annual Mayor Making ceremony at Kendal Town Hall. It was a lovely evening and again a great opportunity to network with lots of familiar friends and supporters of our charity. Kendal made mayoral history in electing its first ever black mayor, with a theme of diversity for the mayoral year.

Today, Friday, I am looking forward to a lunchtime meeting with volunteer receptionists and drivers here in Lancaster. It will be Sheridan West, our centre manager's first meeting with them, a chance to catch up on a few things and to say thank you for all you do. Kim Keith holds similar meetings at the Lakes Centre in Kendal, which always seem to be well received.

This weekend Alan and I have friends over on Saturday for dinner and B&B. On Sunday I am planning some reflective time as I remember my sister who passed away 18 years ago and my mum, five years ago this week. Time heals but for me memories are so important. Whatever you are doing, I hope you enjoy it and let’s hope the sun continues to shine.

I hope you have all had time to stop and think about your own coping mechanisms as it's Mental Health Awareness Week #AddressYourStress



Neil Townsend
Chief Executive Officer