THE children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent, has announced a change of name to Young Lives vs Cancer, as part of a new refocused strategy responding to the impact of Covid-19 on both the charity and the families it supports.
The charity, which is 100% voluntary funded, hopes this name change will enable it to reach more people and raise more funds in order to support as many families as possible across the UK, as they face the fear a childhood cancer diagnosis brings.
The change follows extensive discussions over recent years with young people and families supported by the charity, as well as current supporters, staff and volunteers, about how to increase awareness and support, to raise money for its vital services. When tested, research with the general public and those currently not supported by the charity, showed that adopting the name Young Lives vs Cancer would increase the number of people who understood what the charity does, would donate or accept support from its services if needed. When asked to choose between the two names, respondents were more than three times more likely to donate to Young Lives vs Cancer than to CLIC Sargent.
Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We haven’t taken the decision to change our name lightly. We are incredibly proud of our history, but it’s become increasingly clear that having the name CLIC Sargent meant people were missing out on our support, and the opportunity to raise money for children and young people going through cancer treatment. The research has shown that the charity’s name was holding us back.”
In 2005, Sargent Cancer Care for Children – founded by Sylvia Darley OBE in 1968 – and CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood) – founded by Bob Woodward OBE in 1976 – came together to form CLIC Sargent. Both charities were formed as their founders saw directly the huge financial, emotional and practical needs families have when their child is diagnosed with cancer.
In 2016, the charity rebranded following an extensive exercise involving young people and families to develop a brand that better represented their experience and ‘Young Lives vs Cancer’ was introduced into the charity’s logo. ‘Team Young Lives’ has become the embodiment of how fundraisers, families, frontline staff and volunteers up and down the country have come together to help children and young people with cancer face it all.
In a recent survey during the pandemic, over half of the young people with cancer and their families said they were not coping well with the current situation. Support from CLIC Sargent was needed more than ever in the past year. When the pandemic hit, the charity’s Social Workers stepped in to help to shield families access food deliveries, liaise with employers and schools and provide emotional support to deal with the extra anxiety of a global pandemic when caring for a vulnerable child.
Rachel continued: “In the last year Covid-19 has been the biggest threat to both the charity’s services and the families we support, in our long history. Fears about treatment, money stretched to breaking point, families are torn apart across the country to protect their child – the isolation and mental health impact of living through a global pandemic when you or your child has been diagnosed with cancer have been devastating. At the same time, we had to respond to a sudden and significant loss of funding as fundraising activities stopped. This meant some incredibly tough decisions and job losses.
“So, we’ve refocused on our core purpose, which remains the same as it was when both charities were founded. It’s shocking to think that over 50 years on, families still continue to struggle to put food on the table while their child is on treatment and young people with cancer are still falling through the gaps in the system. We need to be there to help more families in the UK face whatever cancer throws at them. And it was clear that ignoring the insight and keeping the name CLIC Sargent wouldn’t be doing the right thing for children and young people with cancer. We may have a new name, but we’ve got the same purpose, pride and passion to face it all, together.”
The name change process will be phased over all channels, activities and materials over the next year to reduce costs and minimise waste. As a charity that has had to cut all its budgets in the last year, the change is being delivered internally, as and when materials need updating to ensure it is as cost-effective and environmentally sustainable as possible. Costs have also been kept down as the name Young Lives vs Cancer was already part of the charity’s brand, so they will be able to gradually update materials only when required.
Changing the charity’s name is part of the new refocused strategy to ensure all young cancer patients aged 0-25 and their families across the UK receive the support they have told us is most vital to them. To provide this, the charity, which relies on 100% voluntary funding, is focused on boosting fundraising whilst targeting support where it’s needed. As an example, earlier this year, alongside colleagues from Teenage Cancer Trust and Ellen McArthur Trust, a new formal partnership was launched to combine the strengths of each charity’s services.