The UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people raised £22.26 million last year, and at the same time has been able to reduce its running costs by £659,000 thanks to an efficiency drive that means more of every pound it raises is going towards direct support for families.
The charity provided practical and emotional support to more than 6,600 children and young people and their families in 2012/13. It was also able to move forward with plans to build two Homes from Homes in Northern Ireland by buying two development sites. The homes, due to open in 2014, will provide vital free accommodation for families who regularly have to travel large distances for cancer treatment in the two cancer centres in Belfast.
CLIC Sargent Chief Executive, Lorraine Clifton, said: “I want to thank our donors and supporters for the tremendous difference they made last year to the lives of children and young people coping with cancer, and their families. We rely on our donors’ generosity for almost all of our funds, without them we couldn’t have made this progress.
“Currently we can only provide two out of three children and young people with cancer with the practical and emotional support they need. We want every single one of them to have access to that support, and with the help of our donors and partners, I know we can achieve that in the future.”
The charity’s other key achievements in 2012/13 included: providing more than 5,000 emergency grants to families facing the unexpected extra costs of cancer; providing free accommodation near hospital to 1,289 families; and influencing the government, schools and local authorities to improve support for younger children with cancer to keep up with their education.
The charity also supported 220 young people with cancer through a new pilot service provided by young people’s community workers. They provide support to often isolated young people with cancer who receive their treatment in local district hospitals with little contact with other young people going through the same situation. The pilot has been evaluated as a success, having a major impact on the lives of young people supported. The charity announced last week that it plans to raise an extra £3m a year by 2017 to improve support for young people. That will mean doubling the number of workers available to support young people with cancer, including providing young people’s community workers across the UK.