Posted on Sunday 30 September 2018
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2018 highlights
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2018 has drawn to close on a high after families and CLIC Sargent’s chief executive, Kate Lee handed in the charity’s Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund petition to the Department of Health and Social Care on Wednesday 26 September.
More than 30,000 people signed the petition in just over three weeks. CLIC Sargent is campaigning for the government to provide better financial support for families of young cancer patients travelling to and from hospital for vital treatment
Earlier that morning, the Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth announced, Labour’s commitment to setting up a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund.
Giving families a voice
Throughout the month, we’ve been speaking to families across the UK, hearing their stories and working to share their stories in a whole range of ways to highlight why a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund is so important.
Lots of families filmed themselves sharing their experiences of travelling to and from hospital for their child’s treatment, and the huge financial impact that had on them.
Media coverage included, CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Kate Lee, being interviewed on BBC 2’s Victoria Derbyshire show and our Associate Director of Policy and Influencing Clare Laxton on BBC Breakfast on launch day, alongside some of our families to discuss our campaign.
We’ve also had coverage across national media throughout the month including The Telegraph, Metro, TalkRadio and The I as well as lots of regional coverage of our families’ stories across the UK highlighting the financial cost of travelling to and from hospital.
There were more than 200 Childhood Cancer Awareness Month events across the UK. Events have ranged from coffee mornings and stalls to special Challenge 60 events, reflecting the average distance families have to travel to hospital and bespoke challenges, including CrossFit Workouts of the Day, running and cycling challenges – one amazing man, Andy Smith cycled 616 miles in a week!
Celebrities showed their support for CLIC Sargent throughout the month as well, from Jake Humphrey sharing our petition to his followers, Aston Merrygold joining two of our young people to take part in a video before taking them to meet McFly’s Harry Judd and gymnast Louis Smith and making sure they were all wearing their gold ribbon pin badges.
We also hosted our annual Sunningdale Golf Day where a whole host of celebrity supporters, including Vernon Kay and John Terry, to name just a few, came along.
Celebs also showed their support on social media by wearing their pin badges including rugby players Matt Dawson and James Haskell and Sky Sports presenter Alex Payne.
Staff and volunteers in our 25 charity shops have been busy gathering more than 13,500 petition signatures from customers as well as holding fundraising events in store and decorating their shop windows.
Lots of our shops organised their activities throughout the month, including a stepathon, stalls outside shops, a static 60 mile bike ride and pub quizzes. Supporters picked up more than 2,000 gold ribbon pin badges in our stores.
Our corporate partners got involved, with our gold ribbon pin badges available across JD Wetherspoon pubs, Morrisons and selected H Samuel and Ernest Jones stores. Staff from our partners took on their own challenges – walking, running and cycling to help raise extra funds.
Our partner Morrisons hosted its biggest ever charity product promotion, with a total of 45 products on sale under the ‘Every Pack Gives Back’ campaign and they also launched a Childhood Cancer Awareness Month bouquet, all of which carried donations to CLIC Sargent. Customers could also get their gold ribbon pin badges by the tills.
Staff were encouraged to get active with the ‘Morrisons Makes Miles’ challenge, with many organising sponsored walks to reflect the distance families of young cancer patients travel to get to treatment.
We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign and for making it such a huge success.
Keeping up the pressure
CLIC Sargent has announced that approximately 40 staff will be made redundant in the coming weeks and several of its charity shops are remaining closed because of the devastating financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.