Posted on Tuesday 18 August 2020
34 MPs back CLIC Sargent’s call for financial support from Government
Coronavirus has had a huge impact on the charity sector. Helen Gravestock, Associate Director – Policy, Influencing and Voice at CLIC Sargent explains how the charity has been working hard to ensure we can continue supporting young people with cancer and their families.
Since the start of the pandemic, CLIC Sargent has experienced a huge increase in demand for its social work support services while dealing with a 60% drop in income. Fundraising events, including the Virgin Money London Marathon, have been put on hold or cancelled yet our support is needed now more than ever.
Back in April we welcomed the announcement of a Government financial package for charities by the Chancellor. However, as time went on, we learnt that a significant portion of this money was allocated without clear guidance on how to apply for it or who qualified.
A portion of the money was pre-allocated via the National Lottery’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund strictly for organisations who directly responded to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another portion was allocated directly by government departments. Many charities, including CLIC Sargent have been unable to access any of this funding and there has been no transparent application process or information available.
So, in May, we launched a campaign to highlight the importance of our services and asked the Government for funding to ensure CLIC Sargent can continue its vital work. For this we needed the support of a wide range of different stakeholders.
Firstly, 27 Healthcare professionals from Principal Treatment Centres across the UK highlighted the ways in which CLIC Sargent services support the NHS – they called on the Government to recognise this and allocate funding to CLIC Sargent to support them through the pandemic.
Over 4,200 people who have been supported by CLIC Sargent, and their families, then said how they could not imagine what their experience would have been like without CLIC Sargent. They pleaded with the Government to provide much needed support for CLIC Sargent – and therefore, families like theirs.
Most recently, these groups were joined by 34 MPs calling for £750,000 to help CLIC Sargent fund vital social care support for children and young people with cancer. This would have supported around 1,200 young people and their families for up to six months.
All three of these campaign activities have helped CLIC Sargent amplify young cancer patients’ and parents’ voices, however we are yet to have meaningful dialogue with the government about the impact of coronavirus on young cancer patients and their families. And, while the Government’s furlough scheme has been a help to us, we still haven’t had any financial support from the Government to help us be there for young cancer patients and their families.
But cancer doesn’t stop for coronavirus and neither will we. We can’t, – because young people and parents have told us they’re struggling to cope, and need our support. We will continue to be there for the 12 children and young people diagnosed with cancer a day, to stop cancer destroying their life.
We need the Government to hear their voices and help us continue to be there for them.
Notes to editors
For more information, an interview or images, please contact Emma Gibbons on 07932 666163, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About cancer in children and young people
Today, 12 more children and young people in the UK will hear the devastating news that they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. Although survival rates are over 80%, cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.
About CLIC Sargent
When cancer strikes young lives CLIC Sargent helps families limit the damage cancer causes beyond their health. CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading charity for young cancer patients and their families. We provide specialist support, to help and guide each young cancer patient and their family. We will fight tirelessly for them, individually, locally and nationally. For more information, visit www.clicsargent.org.uk
Note to sub editors
Please note that the name ‘CLIC Sargent’ should not be abbreviated to CLIC, and that the word ‘CLIC’ should always appear in capitals, as above.
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