The charity Young Lives vs Cancer, had to ‘do what was right, not what’s easy’ to be there for the people who needed it, its new Impact Report reveals.
In the new digital report, which aims for transparency, the UK’s leading charity for children and young people with cancer, acknowledges
In the report, Young Lives vs Cancer shares how it adapted its services to be there for young people and families during the pandemic, and how its supporters continued to raise money. The report, which launched on the charity’s website today (Friday 29 October) as a multimedia digital timeline, features videos from children, young people and families who were supported throughout the pandemic as well as Chief Executive, Rachel Kirby-Rider.
The need for the charity’s support was in greater demand than ever before but, being funded 100 per cent by voluntary donations, Young Lives vs Cancer had to adapt quickly. With major events, sports challenges and galas cancelled, door-to-door fundraising stopped, its volunteers could no longer help and its charity shops closed, all while facing a £9 million drop in income.
The report celebrates the way the charity radically changed the ways it worked, creating a new fully-developed digital social care model, creating new innovative fundraising campaigns, streamlining and refocusing its own strategy, while changing its name from CLIC Sargent.
The charity’s staff stepped up, to continue to be there and provide vital services. Social workers could no longer support from the wards but would instead keep in touch through other means. From Whatsapp-ing young people, phoning parents as they sat in a car park waiting for their child having treatment alone and organising online craft sessions, quizzes and chats. The support provided helped families cope with new challenges such as liaising with employers about furlough, speaking to schools about their child’s education, ordering food deliveries and generally being a listening ear when families struggled.
The charity also worked hard to keep as many of its 10 Homes from Home open across the UK. Staff had to quickly roll out risk assessments, health and safety protocols and Covid-19 regulations. They worked alongside local NHS staff to make sure protocols were covid compliant. All homes ran on reduced capacity, and families had to self-isolate in their rooms. While this wasn’t easy, it was what needed to be done to keep everyone safe.
In total, Young Lives vs Cancer supported 6,500 families facing cancer, provided 4,932 grants equating to £1million to help families face the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis and gave 170 families a free place to stay for 299 nights in its Homes from Home.
In a survey in February 2021, 84% of young people said they were helped by Young Lives vs Cancer to get their life back on track after cancer, which was significantly higher than when the charity asked in 2019. 61% of parents were helped to adjust to life after their child’s cancer treatment. This is slightly lower than when last asked in 2019 – a figure the charity say they want to see higher in future.
And in what has now become a tradition with the charity’s focus on transparent and honest impact reporting, again this year it identifies three areas that they didn’t get right and want to do better on.
Chief Executive of Young Lives vs Cancer, Rachel Kirby-Rider, said:
“This year’s Young Lives vs Cancer impact report details how we adapted as a result of the global Covid 19 pandemic so we would continue to be there for families, who needed us more than ever.
“The Charity faced a drop in income, the cancellation of fundraising events, closure of charity shops and a stop to volunteering. The young cancer patients and families we support faced job cuts, school closures, at a time where they experienced increased vulnerability, anxiety and isolation due to Covid. It was vital that we were focused on ensuring throughout we were there for them.
“Despite the challenging environment we pulled together as a team to reprioritise our strategic approach and made some difficult but brave decisions that would enable us to navigate the pandemic and be in the best place to build back. From changing our name, to adopting new digital channels to developing and launching our partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust and Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, every decision we made was done to make sure that it would deliver the biggest impact possible for children and young people with cancer.
“I am very proud that at Young Lives vs Cancer we have a commitment to transparency and so are brave enough to acknowledge what didn’t work, what could have been done better, and the challenges we faced. We had to make some very difficult decisions, but it is important to do what was right, not what is easy. Whatever the next year brings we will face it all head on and we’ll continue to do what is right for the young people and families we support.”
“You have no choice”
One story featured in the report was that of 13-year-old Maisie. When she was set to have a stem cell transplant from her sister, Cecily, in March 2020, her Mum turned to their oncologist, worried the start of a global pandemic wasn’t the right time to wipe her immune system. “You have no choice,” he replied. For the following eight weeks, Maisie and her Mum sat in an isolation room, they couldn’t see any family or friends and her Dad could only ever come by to drop off clean laundry. It wasn’t easy, but it was right for Maisie.
Families like Maisie’s had no choice but to continue facing cancer, despite it not being an easy time. So, Young Lives vs Cancer had to continue to be there for people who needed them, like Maisie, even if it wasn’t easy.
In the videos, Jeremy, 13, Helen, 25, Maisie, 13 and Mum Sarah share their experiences of how Young Lives vs Cancer supported them while facing cancer as a young person and juggling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity knew that many families, like Maisie’s, now had the added anxieties of job cuts, school closures, food deliveries, isolation and increased vulnerability to infection, to think about on top of their child’s cancer diagnosis. 52% of families supported felt they were not coping well with the pandemic and 53% needed more financial help to manage their day-to-day living costs. Young Lives vs Cancer had to make brave changes to be there for families.
Throughout the year, Young Lives vs Cancer made some big changes, to create a bigger impact for the young people and families it supports. In February 2021, Young Lives vs Cancer formed a partnership with fellow cancer charities Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Teenage Cancer Trust.
As the report says: “Working together meant we could all play to our strengths – reducing duplication and increasing efficiency, so that between us, we can be there for all families facing cancer in any way they need.”
In May 2020, the charity also decided to change its name. Following discussions with people who know the charity best; fundraisers, families supported, staff and volunteers, CLIC Sargent became Young Lives vs Cancer. Research showed that the change would increase people’s understanding of what the charity does, increase the number of people that would donate, and make them easy to find for those who need support.
To keep to its promise of transparency, the impact report also acknowledges what they have not yet achieved. In its last strategy the charity set out aims to improve diversity and inclusion, the charity has made steps – with the recruitment of their Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging and the development and launch of its own ambitious DEIB strategy. Young Lives vs Cancer has also begun a project to understand its ecological impact, to become an environmentally sustainable organisation.
charitytoday.co.uk | 29 October 2021
PLANS to transform St Barnabas Hospice’s Cardinal Close warehouse into its biggest shop yet are underway.
To capitalise on the success of its charity shops across the county and to create a destination retail experience for its supporters, St Barnabas is currently working hard to refit and transform its current sorting space into its largest and most ambitious shop to date.
Emma-Jayne Parker, Superstore and E-commerce Manager, who will be running the new store, said:
“We’re really excited to be bringing our older warehouse building to life with this exciting new project. As well as bringing sustainable shopping to the Uphill area of Lincoln, our focus will be on selling as much donated stock as we can. We’ll be doing this by working with the local community and building on these relationships.
“One feature of the new store will be a book area, a flexible space which we hope to be able to hold workshops and events in. It will also have a unique and comfortable seating area for customers to relax with a book while loved ones explore the shop.”
Todds, a Lincoln-based business, won the tender to undertake the construction and interior works at Cardinal Close, Lincoln.
Shane Beesley, Managing Director at Todds has worked closely on the project to make the ideas become a reality, from major structural changes to design choices.
“I have made it my priority to work on this project from day one. I wanted to make sure the team at St Barnabas got the results they were after and will be left with a retail and office space to be proud of. The team working on-site are loving working so close to home too. We rarely have the luxury of working in Lincoln, as a lot of our work is UK wide.
“I must thank Emma-Jayne, Scott and the team for making us feel so welcome – with plenty of cups of tea and biscuits to keep us going!
“There is actually another reason I am so passionately involved in this project. My father and I have always supported the Hospice, as members of our own family have been cared for by the nurses at St Barnabas. We know, more than most, just how vital it is to the Lincolnshire community. The Hospice will always be close to our hearts and we are so proud to make a positive impact with this exciting development.
“Office space renovation is Todds’ forte, but the new warehouse shop is a really unique opportunity for us to showcase what else we can do. I promise the end result will be something very special.”
“We’ll be retaining a sense of the £1 shop element that has been popular in our other shops and will be having lucky dip boxes too. We’re really hoping to bring in a new wave of shoppers with our preloved furniture and electrical departments.
“The Warehouse will also be home to a calendar of upcycling classes to teach shoppers how to paint, revive, reupholster and restyle homeware.”
As well as the retail space, the warehouse will also have a recycling function where donations of clothes, books and metal that cannot be resold will be prepared for disposal in the most ethical way possible.
The store is aiming to be open for business at the end of the year, for updates, follow St Barnabas Hospice on social media or visit the website at: www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk
charitytoday.co.uk | 27 October 2021
Three dedicated humanitarians from the British Red Cross have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Badge of Honour at a presentation ceremony at St. James’ Palace, London.
In the intimate ceremony, Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra, Vice President of the British Red Cross, awarded Rosie Gutteridge MBE JP DL, Michael Meyer OBE and Paul Taylor the honour, to commemorate their committed service to the organisation and their humanitarianism.
The Queen’s Badge of Honour is the British Red Cross’s highest honour and is awarded for exceptional service of the highest order to the organisation or to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
The award is rare with only 30 people being able to hold the award at one time. The three newest recipients take the total holders of the Queen’s Badge of Honour to 18. Her Royal Highness, Princess Alexandra, herself received the Queen’s Badge of Honour in 1974.
The Royal Family have a longstanding relationship with the British Red Cross, dating back to 1870 when Queen Victoria became the charity’s first Patron. Today, Her Majesty The Queen is Patron whilst The Prince of Wales is President.
David Bernstein, CBE, chair of the British Red Cross board of trustees said
“On behalf of everyone at the British Red Cross, congratulations to our staff and volunteers who have received the Queen’s Badge of Honour Award. The British Red Cross relies on our network of staff and volunteers to support those in crisis at home and abroad and we are so proud of the service that Rosie, Michael and Paul have given to the organisation. We would like to thank them for their years of dedicated service.”
The British Red Cross has been providing support to those who need it most, no matter who or where they are for over 150 years. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian network with thousands of dedicated volunteers and staff on the frontline of supporting those in crisis.
Find out more about the work of the British Red Cross and visit www.redcross.org.uk.
Queen’s Badge of Honour Award winners:
Rosie Gutteridge MBE JP DL, British Red Cross President for Cambridgeshire
Rosie has been a fundraising volunteer for the British Red Cross for almost 40 years and was appointed the charity’s President for Cambridgeshire in 2011.
Over the years, she has helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds including £110,000 at an Armistice Centenary dinner hosted by Rosie at Trinity College Cambridge in 2018.
Rosie remains passionate about raising the profile of the British Red Cross in the face of an ever-increasing number of deserving charities locally and nationally.
On being given the award, Rosie said: “It has always been a huge privilege to serve as a volunteer in a variety of roles with the British Red Cross and so I am overwhelmed and deeply honoured to receive this award.”
Michael Meyer, Head of International Law at British Red Cross
Over a 39-year career thus far, Michael Meyer has made an extraordinary contribution to the British Red Cross and the Movement.
Michael is responsible for or has contributed substantially to, many significant achievements, including the UK’s ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the founding of an internationally renowned biennial summer school on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) at Cambridge University, and support for the creation of the UK’s National Committee on IHL.
Michael’s extraordinary expertise in both international law and the statutes and governance of the Movement has been instrumental in guiding and shaping the Movement’s approach to a range of humanitarian law and policy issues.
Of what receiving the award means to him, Michael said: “I have now worked as a staff member of the British Red Cross for 39 years and was a volunteer before that. From a young age, growing up in California, I have been motivated by public service. I have always seen my Red Cross/Red Crescent work as a form of public service, and as a vocation. To have my service recognised by the British Red Cross in this way is highly appreciated and satisfying. I have long admired the dedicated service of Her Majesty The Queen. To receive an award with her approval and name is also especially meaningful and valued.”
Paul Taylor, Emergency Response Volunteer, British Red Cross Patron for Suffolk and former Vice-Chair of the British Red Cross Board of Trustees
Paul has been a long-standing volunteer and a Trustee for the British Red Cross, giving countless hours of his time to the organisation. During his time as an Emergency Response Volunteer, Paul contributed to a series of major projects for the British Red Cross which led to changes in structure within the services to reach a greater number of beneficiaries whilst improving cost-effectiveness.
Paul said: “Since beginning my volunteer journey in the early 2,000’s I have felt privileged to meet and work with many British Red Cross staff members and volunteers.
Whilst serving on the Board as a Trustee and Vice-Chair I have been fortunate enough to represent the BRC internationally, attending the IFRC bi-annual meeting in Sydney, Australia, spending time with the Sierra Leone Red Cross and serving on an IFRC working group in Geneva.
Hearing that I had been awarded The Queen’s Badge of Honour came as a complete surprise. It is a great honour that will always be a potent recognition of the incredible work undertaken by our British Red Cross staff and volunteers here and around the world alongside our IFRC and ICRC partners.”
charitytoday.co.uk | 26 October 2021