Nationwide provide £7,700 funding boost

A building society manager from Morecambe has shown her gratitude to CancerCare for helping her family through her breast cancer diagnosis by helping it secure more than £7,000 in funding from Nationwide.

Helen Stonell was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer three years ago and accessed CancerCare services to help her with the lymphedema she experienced as a result of her treatment.

“CancerCare was a safe place for me to go. A place where I felt I could ask questions and where I could go without my wig and people would treat me normally and not feel sorry for me,” said Helen.

Helen’s husband Neil also accessed counselling and reflexology services and, following her treatment, Helen decided she wanted to give something back to the charity by fundraising and volunteering.  She also decided to use her position as manager of the Nationwide branch at Garstang to secure £7,700  from the company’s charitable fund.

“I found out about the grant and contacted CancerCare to let them know.  The idea behind the grant is to support charities that we have formed relationships with and I included the reasons behind my support for CancerCare on the application,” said Helen. 

The grant from Nationwide has proved vital in helping the charity at a time when traditional fundraising avenues, such as mass participation events, have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. CancerCare also extended its services over the last six months and began delivering counselling and therapy via Zoom and telephone. It also extended support to NHS staff and people experiencing bereavement for other reasons, not just as a result of cancer.

CancerCare Chief Executive Maria Chambers said: “It was wonderful to hear how we helped Helen and her family at what must have been an incredibly tough time for them. We can’t thank her enough for helping us with the funding from Nationwide. 

“It has been a difficult year for charities and our fundraising has been hit hard by the pandemic.  The grant came through at a perfect time and helped ensure we could keep supporting people during a time when they needed support even more.”

Around 93% of the money CancerCare needs comes via public donations.

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