Local people living with cancer will still have somewhere to go for help, thanks to communities uniting to save Wessex Cancer Trust.

We announced on 3 December 2019 that we risked closure and were launching a crisis appeal to save our services. 

The appeal sparked an instant reaction from donors, supporters and all the people we have helped throughout our four decades of existence. 

Our Chief Executive, Cait Allen, said:

It was incredibly moving to see people coming through our doors, emptying their purses and gathering friends for fundraising events. The messages accompanying the online donations really brought it home to us how much difference we make to people's lives at a time they most need help. It gave us renewed energy to carry on and make sure we're still here for others."

The appeal raised £290,000 in eight weeks and the Board of Trustees met last week to assess the future financial security of the charity.

Barry Rinaldi, our Chairman, said:

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to our crisis appeal, both in terms of donations and encouragement. For a local charity to have raised almost £300,000 in two months is incredible.  It speaks volumes that so many people have recognised the role we play in helping others through their experience of cancer.

We acknowledge that this is some way from the amount we asked for, however we remain confident that we have a future. A number of savings have been made to streamline the charity as much as possible within our fixed cost constraints. This has included closing shops, selling assets and reducing overheads. To move us forward, our income generation strategy is being accelerated to mitigate the ongoing risks of High Street retail performance and reliance on legacies, and to ensure the charity operates towards a surplus financial balance year-on-year. We hope the amount raised through the appeal, together with these plans for the future, will give others confidence to come forward to help us continue our fundraising efforts, which we still very much need to continue during 2020. 

The needs of those who come to us for support continues to be our top priority and we want to continue to give the very best care to the growing number of people living with cancer. For the past year, and based on extensive research and consultation, we have been changing our model of care to better meet the unique needs of everyone living with cancer and provide a more personalised approach. In the long term, this strategy will create efficiencies whilst improving the care for people who need it.

Whilst we have raised a substantial amount of money and now feel we are in a position to shape the future of cancer care, we are still in a delicate situation. If anyone has been waiting to see Wessex Cancer Trust has a future before donating, I can assure you we do. I urge you to support us if you can. 

Over the coming weeks and months, we plan to launch a number of new fundraising and commercial initiatives to ensure the additional £300,000 is raised.