A cancer charity says it’s never needed the support of people in Bath more, as new figures reveal an expected 72% drop in income from its flagship fundraising event.
Tracy Langton, Macmillan Cancer Information Specialist Nurse at Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Receiving a cancer diagnosis is always worrying but this year people have the added fear of the Coronavirus.
“We’ve worked hard to make it safe for people to attend their appointments but the patients I see need support this year more than ever.
“Worryingly the increased need for support comes at a time when Macmillan’s fundraised income has dropped significantly and our flagship Coffee Morning event looks like it will bring in only a fraction of what we’d hope for.
“We’ve heard some supporters didn’t realise they could take part this year. While the traditional coffee morning can’t go ahead, there are still lots of ways to take part and raise money to fund services that are needed more now than ever before.”
Last year people in Bath and North East Somerset raised £61,000 taking part in a Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning, but early indications show registrations in the region are down by 71%.
The money helped fund the charity’s vital services locally, including nurses and support workers at the RUH, welfare rights advisers and direct grants to patients.
The charity has recently announced it will invest £1.5million into a new patient support centre, called the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, which will be at the heart of the forthcoming Dyson Cancer Centre at the RUH.
This year, Macmillan says the staggering 72% drop in those planning to hold a Coffee Morning, equating to a potential £20m drop in income nationally, could leave it struggling to fund its support services during a time of exceptionally high demand.
Kaeti Morrison, Macmillan’s fundraising manager, said: “Demand for our cancer support services is greater than ever, but, due to coronavirus, we are facing a significant drop in our income.
“The truth is that we can’t continue to be there for all the people who need us without your support. That’s why this year it’s so important to not let anything stop your Macmillan coffee morning.’
“Whether you host a socially distanced or virtual coffee morning the money you raise will enable Macmillan to continue providing these vital services.
“There are lots of different ways to get involved in Coffee Morning whenever, wherever and in whatever way you can.”
Macmillan is encouraging people to take part however suits them, from having a socially distanced Coffee Morning safely from their doorstep to setting up a virtual Coffee Morning online.
Those who prefer to take part in more active fundraising events can also sign up for the first-ever Coffee Morning Challenge, tackling a run, walk or cycle to raise cash.
Meanwhile, social media lovers are being urged to take a selfie raising a mug for people living with cancer, while making a donation.
To sign up, visit coffee.macmillan.org.uk.