Huge thanks to everyone who donated to our Christmas appeal

on Wednesday, 31 January 2018. Tags Barrow, cancer, Cancer Support, CancerCare, Kendal, Lakes Centre, Lancaster, North Lancashire, Slynedales, South Lakeland

Donations help to fund vital support services over festive period

People affected by cancer have thanked everyone who donated to CancerCare's first Christmas Appeal.

Staff at CancerCare have also thanked the many people who donated to the charity’s first Christmas appeal which ran from December 1 to January 1, 2018.

The CancerCare Christmas Appeal raised £913.70 which was used to help keep free therapeutic services going in the run-up to Christmas and for the three days between Christmas and the New Year.

Mike McNabb (pictured, above) from Lancaster, who has worked as a person-centred therapist with CancerCare for five years, said his clients were very grateful for the support they received during the festive period. He also said he was personally grateful to those who donated as he could see the difference it made to his clients.

Mike said: “I think it’s great that the donations enabled us to provide that additional service to people who might be lonely and vulnerable at that time of year.

“It’s a fantastic help and a fantastic support. It’s good because there isn’t a lot of this type of support in the area.

“I came in to see clients on the 29th of December and it was a little more intense than usual due to the time of year.

“I worked with two people. One man had lost his wife and the other man’s wife was ill.

“They were really thankful and glad that support was available to them at such a difficult time of year.

“Both men had family support but felt it was an additional outlet for them.”

Mike explained that in person-centred therapy, people can talk through their thoughts and feelings and try to come to a clearer understanding of what they are facing. The aim is to try to find positive outcomes, if possible, and to gain a new perspective that helps them to cope.

Mike added: “Often people don’t have someone to talk to. I was glad to be there for my clients on that day between Christmas and New Year, otherwise it could have been three weeks before I could see them. It’s good at CancerCare because we can see people relatively quickly.

“We try to tap into the needs of the client. I love working for CancerCare; I love the people I work with and the clients.

“I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the people who donated and to the CancerCare volunteers. The service couldn’t run at the same capacity without them.”

Neil Townsend, Chief Executive of CancerCare, said: “It was our first Christmas appeal and we are very grateful to the high percentage of people who chose to make a donation to CancerCare.

“It contributed to the fact that we were open between Christmas and the New Year which is traditionally a very difficult time for people who are facing cancer.

“Some people have family support and don’t feel they need our services but there are also those who do need us at that time of year.

“It’s these people who have benefited. As I always say, cancer doesn’t stop for Christmas.”

Georgina Whittle, Referral Assessor for CancerCare, said: “It has been very helpful to provide a service for clients whether for actual therapy or just the provision of a welcoming space when difficult personal circumstances can feel worse and perhaps more isolating.

“During the Christmas period 2017, I chose to work the days between Christmas and New Year. Clients that I met for assessments were a young mum with cancer (and planned surgery) who wanted a referral for aromatherapy massage, a young teenage boy who needed support, a lady who was just recovering from breast cancer surgery and treatment, as well as someone who needed telephone support/input.

“Alongside all this, I witnessed the importance of being able to offer people a hot drink and a listening ear when they just dropped in to our centres for company.”

Anna Webster, Fundraising Administrator for CancerCare, said: “We know that Christmas can be a very difficult time for many of the families we support, whether they are too poorly to enjoy the festivities, are missing a loved one who is no longer here, or they are coming to terms with the fact that this may be their last Christmas together.

“Thanks to the donations in response to our first ever Christmas Appeal, we were able to provide a lifeline to families, ensuring that support was available in the lead up to Christmas and for a further three days in between Christmas and New Year.

“These wonderful donations meant that our team of specially-trained therapists could be on hand to support those in our community impacted by cancer at Christmas and the vital support services that CancerCare provide all year round didn’t have to stop for the holidays. We really cannot thank people enough.”

If you would like tomake a donation to help keep our free services running, please go to the donations page of our website at:  https://www.cancercare.org.uk/donate