We announced on 3 December that we were launching a crisis appeal to raise £600,000 by 31 January 2020 or risk closure.
We saw a 30% increase in services in 2019 and were also affected by a 65% reduction in people leaving a gift in their will, together with the decline in the high street which saw our shop sales fall by 15%. As a self-funded charity which has been supporting local families for almost 40 years, we had no choice but to launch the appeal.
Our Trustees met on 9 January – the halfway point of the crisis appeal, to assess the future financial security of the charity based on the response to the appeal so far.
Barry Rinaldi, our Chairman, said:
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to our crisis appeal. During December and the first week of January, we have received £214,000 of donations and notifications, with much activity pledged for January. As a charity which relies solely on voluntary donations, the Trustees have been overwhelmed by the response to our appeal. At this halfway point, we are confident that if our local communities continue to support us that Wessex Cancer Support has a future.
Alongside asking for donations, we have been taking proactive action to secure our future. We continue to review our retail portfolio and explore opportunities to increase its profitability. Following the difficult but responsible decision to close our Overton shop in November, we shut our Waterlooville shop at the end of December and gave notice to close our Cosham store.
I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to support our shops in a very challenging environment. We are passionate about our mission to support the growing number of people affected by cancer and know this can only be achieved by having a clear vision and plan to deliver. We do have a robust strategy which we will continue to review over the coming month.
To summarise, whilst we are making good process with the appeal and are in a position to look to the future, we are still in a delicate situation.We want to emerge stronger and can only do this with your help. What drives us is knowing how different our local communities will look without us. January marks the start of some exciting fundraising events and there has never been a better time to get involved. We urge you to help us if you can.”
Text ‘SAVEWESSEX’ to 70085 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a standard message
Donate online by visiting our Just Giving page.