Thanks for Giving events bring everyone together

on Friday, 24 November 2017. Posted in Blog Tags Barrow, cancer, CancerCare, Kendal, Lancaster, localcharity, northlancashire, slynedales, southlakeland

Chief Executive Neil's Weekly Blog

Good Morning! Another last Friday in the month and, of course, our coffee mornings are taking place today. 

It’s been another hectic week, starting earlier with a Sunday engagement event hosted by the Low Wood Hotel and Spa on Windermere.

We welcomed a number of long standing supporters, business contacts and community leaders including the Mayor and Mayoress of Lancaster, Roger Mace and his wife Joyce Mace,  to bring them up to speed with our work, progress and plans for the future.

We also welcomed our President, Professor Malcolm McIllmurray and his wife Geraldine, our Patron, Lady Anne Shuttleworth and her husband Charles as well as Carole Webb, the wife of Robert Webb, our Vice President. Robert is currently the High Sheriff of Lancashire.

It was a lovely afternoon, made very special by David James, one of our counsellors and Susan Crawford, a client, who spoke, as I did, with passion about CancerCare. More than 60 people attended the event and I would like to say a huge 'thank you' to them.

We held another energetic staff meeting on Monday. We had lively discussions about data protection and marketing. Our guest speaker was Sue Thompson from Rosemere who gave a fascinating talk on her charity's work across the North West. We also launched our Christmas selfie campaign in conjunction with our fabulous supporters and friends at Reid Hamilton Insurance. Ho …Ho…Ho... Take a look at our website, Facebook and Twitter for more on the #Xmaselfie campaign.

We also had  an extended Management Team meeting with our Chairman Andrew and our Treasurer Fiona. We spent some particularly useful time considering the role of the finance committee which we want to establish in the New Year. We were joined in the discussion by trustees, Norah Mercer and Peter Harrison, who currently form part of the income generation group. What is interesting is the detailed review we have started of lots of fascinating data, be it about our clients, numbers, geography, the cost of services to the different income streams or their relative effectiveness. This debate will continue and is timely given the work that has started on the new Three Year Plan.

A group of us from CancerCare attended the Morecambe Bay NHS Cancer Conference at the The Globe Arena in Morecambe on Wednesday. This was a really interesting day where we learned about all kinds of developments in cancer services. Our very own Rachel Walker and Charmaine Rothwell did an excellent joint presentation about our work with an emphasis on children and young people. They did us proud and what was notable all day from many of the speakers was a genuine recognition of our work and our role within local health service provision.

This was particularly timely as the day before I had a highly positive meeting with our new Clinical Commissioning Group contract officer, Kathleen Conway, who went away, I think, with an excellent impression of what we do and what benefits our services bring.

We held our Thanks for Giving events in Lancaster and In Kendal on Thursday. I was able to say a few words of sincere thanks to an amazing array of supporters and volunteers. It has been a week or two of doing this incredibly important engagement with our local business community, individual donors, groups of fundraisers and amazing clients who have given so much back and all our volunteers who help. 'Thank you' - two simple words but offered from all of us with sincerity.


Later today (Friday, November 24), I have a conference call with Meriel Fishwick, my opposite number based at Force Cancer Charity in Devon. Our teams have built up a great connection and a useful way of sharing good practice and ideas. I am taking Sue Thompson from Rosemere out for a bit of lunch to thank her for coming to our meeting on Monday and to have a catch up in advance of the support group Christmas conference which we are jointly running in December.

Tomorrow Alan and I are lending a hand with the Barrow team at the Ulverston Dickensian Festival en route to see my cousins where we are going for dinner and a stopover. On the way back we will be catching the dashing and dancing Santas on Sunday in Lancaster. Hope to see you at the Santa Dash before the Lancaster BID Christmas Lights Switch-on!

Whatever you are doing, have a good weekend.