Urgent appeal for Macmillan coffee morning hosts

Macmillan's Alison Paterson, Lourdes Longalong and Bhavani Sarma took part in their own Macmillan coffee morning

Macmillan's Alison Paterson, Lourdes Longalong and Bhavani Sarma took part in their own Macmillan coffee morning - Credit: Marc Morris Photography

Macmillan Cancer Support is urgently calling for people to get involved in its biggest annual fundraising event - the World's Biggest Coffee Morning - on Friday, as sign-ups have fallen well below average, leaving the charity facing a 71 per cent drop in income from its flagship fundraiser.

The charity provides vital information, care and support to people diagnosed with cancer, and nearly all its funding - 98 per cent - comes directly from donations.

Disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means demand for its services is high, while its income remains low.

The charity says sign-ups to the World's Biggest Coffee Morning have dropped more than three quarters below average for the second year running.

It could translate into a total income drop of as much as £40million and puts almost 200,000 people with cancer at risk of missing out on care from the charity's nurses.

Macmillan lead cancer nurse, Alison Paterson, is responsible for the quality and safety of cancer care at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, the New QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City and Hertford County Hospital. She said: “COVID-19 has without a doubt made life a lot harder for people living with cancer. They’re not coping in the way they did before, because the pandemic has undermined areas of their lives they had previously thought safe and secure.

“Being in a crowded space is still fraught with fear for many who are clinically vulnerable and others are still feeling the effects of long-term isolation. Prolonged uncertainty and worry can grind you down, so it’s really no surprise that in the cancer population, as in the general population, we’ve seen a sharp rise in mental health issues.

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“Fortunately, donations raised by Macmillan supporters will help us to address these issues in East and North Hertfordshire, making it possible to take on a new psychologist to provide more psychological support for people with cancer.

“It’s not common knowledge that Macmillan funds healthcare posts other than Macmillan nurses, and equips professionals like me with the skills, knowledge and resources we need to provide an even better service for people with cancer. It should be though, because cancer affects a lot more than just your health – it can play havoc with your relationships, your mental health, your finances and even your career.

“If Macmillan is to keep supporting and expanding the cancer workforce, helping them to do better and more for people struggling to get by, it needs your help to do so. Please consider hosting a Macmillan coffee morning this year to help people with cancer live, rather than just survive.”

Can you host a coffee morning on Friday, or another day that suits you? Sign up at macmillan.org.uk/coffee. On this website, you can also click the ‘events near you’ tab to find coffee mornings nearby to attend.

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