Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity, a Leeds-based charity that cares for patients impacted by a brain tumour and their families across the Yorkshire region, has witnessed a huge impact on fundraising as a result of the cost of living crisis.
Just as the charity was beginning to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, YBTC has seen a severe drop in income due to the rise in the cost of living.
The soaring price of essentials, from food and electricity to gas and fuel, has meant supporters are understandably prioritising household bills and travel costs over donations.
Back in July 2020, during the first few months of lockdown, demand for the charity’s emotional, financial and practical support soared by nearly 225%, while income had fallen by 61%.
Now, two years later, the charity is still down 48% on expected income.
Many charities have cut back their service offering in order to stay afloat, but YBTC has instead continued to expand its services since 2021 to offer brand new Wellbeing Walks, Drop-in Cafés in Doncaster, Wakefield and Leeds, a Sheffield support group, and more counselling sessions than ever before.
In 2021 the charity awarded £43,103 in grants to the most vulnerable patients to help with household costs, fulfilling a special wish or to install specialist equipment. This is a 69% increase in the value of grants given out in 2020, and demand is still rising, with the cost of living crisis only compounding the financial impact of being diagnosed with a brain tumour and, in many cases, forced to stop working.
Donations, however, are not growing to meet the demand for the charity’s services. In a typical year, on average each JustGiving page set up to fundraise for the charity would raise £100; by comparison, the average JustGiving page set up in 2022 is raising just £23 from the same number of donors. This starkly highlights how the cost of living for individuals is having a direct impact on charities like YBTC.
CEO Marie Peacock said:
“The last two years were horrendous, but at least as a brain tumour charity, we had glimmers of hope during the pandemic, with a range of emergency Covid-19 funding available. Now there is no additional support and just when we expected fundraising activities to kickstart again, the cost of living crisis is having a huge impact. Individuals are not able to donate or attend events and those undertaking challenges are fearful of asking family and friends for sponsorship.
“Our usual amazing fundraisers are kind and generous people, which means many are, understandably, focusing on activities to raise money for Ukraine at this time. The year ahead looks much more unpredictable now and is causing a lot of concern.”
While things are tough, the charity will cut costs in other areas to continue to offer as many different forms of support for people with a brain tumour as it can, from grants and benefits advice to counselling and support groups.
If you would like to support Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity, you can make a donation by visiting: yorksbtc.org.uk/support-us/donate.
To find out more about the support available for patients and families, please visit: yorksbtc.org.uk/support.