Swinging back into action after holiday

on Friday, 14 September 2018. Posted in Blog Tags Blog, cancer, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, southlakeland

CEO of CancerCare Neil's Blog

Hello everyone! Well, after two fantastic weeks in Cornwall I am back at my desk and admittedly after a sluggish post-holiday start, it’s been a non-stop week full of delights.

I am pleased that following our commitment to working with MIND and our gold excellence award in 2017, we will be taking part in the 2018/19 index.

Our involvement to date has no doubt brought much value to the work we do and the general wellbeing of all our staff.

This, of course, is championed from the Trustee Board down and led so well by Alison Stainthorpe and all the members of the wellbeing group.


Two years ago we committed ourselves to working with MIND and personally I am so glad we did.

Please look out for further announcements about this year’s index which will be open in early October and I hope as many staff and therapists will take the time to complete it.


The feedback has most certainly helped our organisational development and has fed into a much wider piece of work for MIND nationally. This way we can sustain our investment in wellbeing over the past two to three years and be recognised for our achievements together.

Monday - I liked to call email day - was all about catching up. On Tuesday I was in Kendal meeting with members of Kendal Gateway, the working collaborative of local charities that continues to build its position of influence.

Later in the day I was able to have a long overdue catch up with our former chairman and vice-president, Robert Webb. As ever, he was so encouraged by the work that we continue to take forward.

Wednesday meant an early start with a live interview arranged by Ingrid Kent for me on the BBC Radio Cumbria Breakfast Show debating government investment into Cancer Services and a cross-party campaign led by local MP, Tim Farron. I was able to express a CancerCare view, backed up by one of our Barrow clients.

The fundraising team meeting was next up and a very positive review of work and activities was evident, despite some resource shortage.

You may have read elsewhere that we had to make the difficult decision that this year’s StarWalk event will not be going ahead due to a resource issue beyond our control. Sadly, our Cross Bay Walk was cancelled by our guide, Cedric Robinson, due to the tides and ever-changing channels in Morecambe Bay.

My thanks go to all those who have supported the previous plans for these events. The team’s attention now turns to the other fundraising events scheduled between now and the end of the year.

There is a lot going on, including this weekend’s variety of activity across most of our geography. Good luck to all taking part or helping at an event.

Later on Wednesday I attended the Morecambe Bay Cancer Locality Group. We had a very progressive meeting with lots of really exciting work going on across the cancer service locally to ensure we deliver the NHS England targets but continue to work in partnership between primary and secondary care and of course the voluntary/charity sector.

We also said a fond farewell to the chair of the Group, Dr Chrissie Hunt. Chrissie has been a great supporter of CancerCare and will, I am sure, continue to be a great advocate of the local cancer service in all its guises. She is stepping down after ten years from a number of roles but will continue to be a part time GP in her Sedbergh practice. Thanks Chrissie.

Places are filling up on the will writing clinic which Gary Rycroft is kindly hosting for us here on September 25th. If any staff member, therapists or volunteer wishes to have a free advice slot to discuss will planning please get in touch with me or Anna Webster as soon as possible.

At the end of the week I have well and truly caught up and as other colleagues return from leave, etc. It feels like we are swinging well and truly into action as we look forward to a busy but hopefully very rewarding autumn and winter.

Tonight (Friday) I am attending the Torchlight parade in Kendal; a chance to network with local business, charities and councillors. Our team of street collectors will be out so massive thanks to them.

Have a great weekend whatever you are doing.



Neil Townsend, Chief Executive Officer