Thank you from Rachel

As the end of this most unusual year looms into view, one thing is clear; that this year’s holiday season is going to be a bit different to normal. Whilst the idea of low-key festivities may appeal to some, others may feel sad or disappointed that usual traditions might not be possible this year.

There’s no right or wrong way to feel and that’s something that Wessex Cancer Trust is mindful of all year round. We aim to help individuals navigate their personal cancer journey in a way that works for them.

This past year has been full of challenges for our clients. Many have been shielding or had the added worry of delayed treatments. The lack of opportunity to meet face to face has really tested us all.

But it has also been a time for reflection, and perhaps even some positive change. At Wessex, although we’ve all missed seeing clients in Centres, Covid has obliged us to evolve our services so that they can be delivered to clients in their own homes. Using the phone and video-conferencing, improving our website and the information it contains, we’ve managed to reach out to lots more people who might otherwise not have been able to access our services. The Facebook support group that we started in the first lockdown has shown how important peer support continues to be, and we’ll soon be taking that a step further, developing a community forum space on our website.

For some, like Ray, this Christmas is going to be particularly poignant. On Christmas day last year, he was taken into hospital and shortly afterwards had a life-changing diagnosis. Ray has been kind enough to share his story for our Christmas appeal.

Sadly, because of Covid, many of our fundraising activities were cancelled this year and our shops have been closed for weeks at a time. Despite this, our supporters still made donations, undertook challenges and found new ways to raise money – thank you to all. We’re estimating that our income during 2020 and 2021 will be 20% less than we might have hoped – or to put it another way, for every £100 we hoped to make, we’re now expecting to receive just £80. With our costs remaining the same, your support is needed now more than ever. I do hope that you will be able to make a donation or perhaps buy some tickets to our Christmas raffle.

If you need support over the festive season, do check out our remote support services. However you are spending the period, everyone at Wessex Cancer Trust sends you good wishes for a happy and healthy new year.