From data protection to Priscilla Queen of the Desert

on Friday, 09 February 2018. Posted in Blog Tags Barrow, blackpool, cancer, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, slynedales, southlakeland, theatre, ulverston

CEO Neil's Weekly Blog

Good Morning! I am convinced that time is going faster and faster - after another varied and fulfilling week I find myself writing my Friday blog.

The General Data Protection Regulation (DPR) task and finish group, which includes Hazel Hunt (Finance Officer), Ingrid Kent (Marketing Officer), Anna Webster (Fundraising Administrator), Alison Stainthorpe (Head of Operations), Alison Dixey (Head of Client Services), David Haworth (Quality and Information Officer) and myself, met on Monday to review progress against our action plan.

We are doing really well and I believe we remain well prepared to hit the May deadline for the introduction of the new regulation. Please look out for further GDPR updates as we get closer to the deadline. 

On Monday evening our trustees met in Lancaster at our new start time of 6pm to help those trustees who work during the day. We had a packed agenda and a great meeting dominated by the Business Plan for next year, the forecast financial position for year end, a review of our risk register, a smashing look ahead at what Ingrid is planning in terms of marketing and communications and a review of sickness absence and wellbeing trends across the year.

On the same day Ingrid, Anna Webster and I met with our web designers and hosting company net*, at their lovely rural offices near Kendal.

We are in the process of agreeing some subtle and useful changes to the website, particularly making it easier to make a donation to CancerCare and looking carefully at the design and layout of the home page.

Work will be progressed on this soon, so look out for the changes once they are made. In the meantime, Ingrid and the fundraising team are doing a sterling job of keeping our site up to date, with fresh images, stories and events. Please look at it and if you are into Facebook or Twitter, direct people to it.

It was great to hear from Alison Dixey about our latest new staff members in the therapy team - David Faratain and Sarah Collins. A warm welcome to both of them.

On Wednesday the fundraising team met with a large group of our event volunteers to help keep them in the loop about all the events that are planned in 2018.

I understand it was a really good meeting with lots of positive ideas and suggestions being made. We are, after all, only as good as the sum of all parts of the CancerCare family. The info is appearing on our website listings, with something to appeal to everyone, we hope.

I am really pleased to say that as of today (Friday, February 9) the new ThankQ CRM system, used mainly by Fundraising and admin and finance, has finally been handed over to us. The revised system we have will over time prove to be a valuable tool for us to remain efficient and effective. The staff most closely involved - particularly Anna Webster - have been really patient as we have got over a number of obstacles. Thank you for this.

Georgina Whittle, who is celebrating her birthday on the 12th February (Happy Birthday Georgie), is actively fundraising to help prepare for her walking trek later in the year, which will raise money for CancerCare. Georgie's next event is a fashion show. It should be a good evening so please help spread the word and sell some tickets for it if you can (they're available from the reception desk at Slynedales on Slyne Road in Lancaster, tel 01524 381 820).

We wish Jen Knowles from admin well next week as she is due to go off to have her other knee operation. She will soon return as the bionic woman! Best wishes Jen.

We are due to mark Kate Parr’s imminent departure (more about that next week!) Alison Stainthorpe is doing her best to make sure the main duties are covered and I am grateful to Michelle, Dawn and Ricky our other volunteers, who are kindly covering extra duties to get us through this period. Please bear with us.

This weekend Alan and I are doing a bit of decorating and I will be in Blackpool on Saturday evening at the amateur theatre local 'Oscars' for 2017 where we have nine nominations - a record for the production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (see above) that I directed last year in Preston. Fingers crossed we come home with some silverware!

Have a great weekend.


Neil Townsend, Chief Executive