Wessex Cancer Trust Crisis Appeal Thank you to everyone who has donated to our Crisis Appeal over the past 8 weeks, we are so grateful for all your support. 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. Last year we’ve seen a 30% increase in demand for our services. We have also been hit by a 65% reduction in people leaving a gift in their will and the decline in the high street which has seen our shop sales fall by 15%. A large, previously notified gift has been delayed and taken together these factors have tipped the charity into a crisis situation. Donate now What would you do without Wessex Cancer Trust?For almost 40 years Wessex Cancer Trust has been there for local people during the most difficult of times. When you, or a loved one, get a cancer diagnosis, it can be a huge shock for the whole family. The news is incredibly difficult to process and while the NHS does a very good job of providing clinical care, there are still so many other ways that the illness affects your life, mind, relationships and confidence. The charity currently supports over 11,000 people every year through its four Cancer Support Centres which provide a drop-in service, professional counselling, complementary therapies, activities, support groups and courses. It also runs outreach services, a popular Sing for Life choir and transport on its Daisy Buses to help patients get to their hospital appointments. Donate now We need your support more than everThis is not a Christmas appeal or a planned campaign, it is a last resort. We have never needed to run a crisis appeal before but now urgently need to raise £600,000 by 31 January 2020. If we fail, we will not be there for the 165,000 people who will be facing a cancer diagnosis by 2030 and their loved ones. “The Support Centre was immediately comforting, kind and gentle, like a breath of fresh air. It made me cry with relief to be there. It makes you feel so calm.” - Elizabeth, Wessex Cancer Trust We have supported local families through their toughest times. Now we are facing ours and urge you to help us if you can. Update from our Chairman, Barry Rinaldi"On 9 January myself and the Trustees met to assess the future financial security of the charity. 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 Trust has a future. Alongside asking for donations, the Trustees 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. Whilst we are making good progress 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." Donate now How you can help Donate online by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/SaveWessexCancerTrust Send a cheque made payable to ‘Wessex Cancer Trust’ to ‘Wessex Cancer Trust, 91-95 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Eastleigh, SO53 2GG Text SAVEWESSEX to 70085 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a standard rate message Call the team on 023 8067 2200 to make a donation over the phone If you’d like to make a donation via bank transfer, please email us on [email protected] and one of the team will be able to help you. Help spread the word on social media using the hashtag #SaveWessexCancerTrust Hold an event or activity in aid of Wessex Cancer Trust. Make sure you email [email protected] to let us know. Find all the resources you'll need here. Sign up for our Wear it Bright fundraising day on 24 January or any of our future events. Please note, the charity is not in debt. All funds donated to this appeal will be used to help us to continue to provide vital support services for local people affected by cancer.