Macmillan warns of “tsunami of demand” this autumn

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The cancer support charity has redesigned its coffee mornings to raise vital funds

9th September 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Macmillan Cancer Support has warned of a possible “tsunami of demand” for its services this autumn.

The charity is facing a 71% drop in income – around £20 million – this year after lockdown restrictions forced the cancellation of multiple fundraising events.

This could risk more than 80,000 cancer patients in the UK missing out on support from a Macmillan nurse next year, the charity said.

Macmillan is now calling on supporters to help raise vital funds so the charity can help more people over the coming months.

One way people can help is by taking part in one of the charity’s redesigned coffee mornings, either socially-distanced from their doorstep or online with friends and family.

Last year, around 200,000 people took part in coffee mornings, raising £27.5m. However, the charity said it is currently on track to raise just 29% of this total – the lowest amount since 2009 - and admits many people might be unaware that it is still possible to host or attend a coffee morning.

Claire Rowney, Macmillan’s executive director of fundraising, said: “We are going through one of the biggest crises in living memory and we want the public to know that the ‘new normal’ doesn’t mean that they can’t get involved with coffee morning this year. There are so many ways they can still show their support in whatever way they can and we’ve never needed their help more.”

The shortfall comes at a time when cancer patients need support more than ever. Macmillan’s free support services were inundated at the peak of the pandemic as many people living with cancer saw their treatments changed, postponed or even cancelled due to coronavirus.

Rowney added: “Macmillan relies on donations to provide care and support for 1.9 million people affected by cancer every year — and sadly this support could be at risk without income from events like coffee morning. People with cancer need us more than ever. There has never been a more terrifying time in recent history to receive a diagnosis as people face potential disruption or delays to treatment, amid an increased risk of infection to the coronavirus.

“Coffee morning has thrived for 30 years thanks to the enormous generosity of our supporters — and we need to act now to ensure it can continue to raise vital funds for people living with cancer for years to come.”

To sign up for a coffee morning, visit coffee.macmillan.org.uk