A Local Cancer Charity Affected by COVID-19 Needs Your Help

CancerHelp Preston is amongst the many charities that have been hit hard by the Coronavirus Pandemic and have launched an appeal for support.

The local charity based in Vine House in Preston and Croston House in Garstang supports those affected by a cancer diagnosis, be it the individual themselves or their friends and family.

The charity only receives 8% of its funding from the NHS and relies on fundraising for the remaining 92%.

Laura Brown, Marketing Manager for CancerHelp Preston, explains the different ways the charity fundraises and how it has all come to a halt:

“This fundraising is usually built from:

  • revenue from our 4 charity shops, 
  • fundraising events such as formal dinners, craft sales and speaker events
  • individual fundraisers such as sports challenges or other personal achievements
  • one-off donations from those who have received support from our services and appreciate the great work that is on offer.

“This pandemic has meant that all of the above had to come to a sudden and very definite full stop. Since then our team have been working hard to apply for grants and appealing to the local community for support.”

The Preston charity launched a Justgiving appeal to spread the word that they were in need of support and to explain how the Coronavirus Pandemic had affected them:

“In the early days, we set up a Just Giving appeal – “CancerHelp Preston Survives 2020″ with the goal of reaching £38,000. We are 35% of the way there and are so grateful to all who have donated but the need to continue appealing is still strong.”

The closure of the charity shops had a big impact on CancerHelp but thankfully they are due to re-open this week. They have had an issue because a lot of the regular volunteers at the shops are more at risk if they were to contract COVID-19:

“This week is the planned reopening of our Garstang Charity Shop and safety and social distancing measures have been put in place to ensure the welfare of our customers and volunteers. One issue we face is that many of our volunteers are ex-service users and are themselves in the vulnerable category so cannot support us at this time.”

They announced via their Facebook page today the opening of their Garstang shop and that the shop will be staffed by volunteers from the Support Houses which are not yet able to re-open:

“We are so excited to be able to welcome customers back and have been busy putting social distancing and safety measures in place… Thank you to the staff and volunteers from our Support Houses who are stepping in to help with the opening as most of the volunteers are in the vulnerable category so unable to assist at this time.”

Rachel Mallett, Trustee and Treasurer, said ” This lockdown period has meant we have not been able to see people face to face however we have continued to support people as best we could,

“We have adapted and offered services via telephone and online and it is hoped that we will soon be able to return to whatever will be the ‘new normal’.  In adapting we are having to review and update our IT systems, our switchboard and our phones to make the service more efficient and effective in the digital world”.

The charity is on the way to resuming their normal service and is hoping to offer their support as soon as possible:

“The great news is that our waiting lists are now open again and we already have people keen to use our service. Hopefully, we can open the doors to our Support Houses in Garstang and Ribbleton soon and can return to the face to face support that our team are so renowned for delivering.”

Be sure to check out the CancerHelp Preston Facebook page here or their website here for any updates on what is happening with the charity, You can support the charity by donating to their Justgiving page here.

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