Lancaster cancer charity launches ambitious new initiative to cope with dramatic increase in people seeking help

CancerCare has launched an ambitious new initiative designed to help it pay for a surge in clients caused by the Covid pandemic

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:30 pm
CEO Alison Stainthorpe at a Donation Station.

This week, the charity launched its Pay It Forward Challenge, which aims to raise £300,000 over the next three years to help it cope with record numbers of people seeking support for issues surrounding cancer or bereavement across the Morecambe Bay area.

It has invested in four brand new “donation stations” which will allow people to make an immediate contactless financial contribution at each of the charity’s centres in Lancaster, Morecambe, Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness.

In the second quarter (April to June) of 2021 CancerCare was 73% busier than at the same time last year and 12% busier than in 2019, when there were no restrictions.

A donation station.

Each month it costs the charity around £142,000 to deliver services from its four centres and just over 90% of the money it needs is funded by the generosity of donations from the local communities it serves.

The charity hopes that clients who have benefitted from therapy will see the value of what they have received and make a donation to Pay It Forward to ensure that other people will also be able to do so in the future.

Chief executive Alison Stainthorpe said: “The pandemic has had a huge impact on cancer diagnosis, treatment and support services for thousands of men, women and children in our local communities.

"At CancerCare we are already experiencing the fallout with an increase in demand for our counselling and therapy services across all our centres.

“Post-lockdown there has been a massive surge of people coming to us for help and this year we have been the busiest we've ever been for one-to-one therapy sessions.

"We are under no illusion that more people will require access to our support over the coming years, and we want to make sure we can help as many people as possible, which is why we're launching this campaign.”

The concept of paying it forward originated in the US and is an of act of kindness or a good deed that can help improve the life of someone else in the future.

Examples include cafés allowing customers to pay extra for a coffee so a homeless person can enjoy a drink for free.

For more information go online here.