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Saturday, 16 October 2021
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Coffee morning sign up drop could risk almost 200,000 people missing out on cancer support

A cancer charity is warning that almost 200,000 people living with cancer could risk missing out on care from its famous nurses without the public’s support this Coffee Morning – as sign-ups drop more than three quarters below average for the second year running and could amount to a total income drop of as much as £40million. 

Nearly all (98%) of Macmillan’s funding comes directly from donations, but the disruption caused by Covid-19 means demand for its services is high, while its income remains low. This includes its free seven-day-a-week helpline, which has answered more than a quarter of a million telephone queries from people affected by cancer since the first national lockdown. The helpline is currently taking a fifth (22%) more calls than this time last year, as people with cancer continue to turn to the charity’s nurses and experts for vital support.   

The 110-year-old charity has now called on the help of a host of celebrities, many of whom have experienced Macmillan support themselves, to urge people to sign up now to host a Coffee Morning wherever, whenever and however they can, to help Macmillan continue to deliver the support that people living with cancer desperately need, now and in the future.  

The 12 famous faces, captured by celebrity photographer Nicky Johnston, raising their coffee cups in support include model Christine McGuinness, whose mum is going through cancer treatment, and Fleabag’s Kadiff Kirwan, whose aunt had cancer – both of whom received the support of a Macmillan nurse. The series also features Love Island favourite Shaughna Phillips, whose family was supported by a Macmillan grant when her dad, who sadly died of cancer in 2016, was no longer able to work during his treatment.  

They are joined by other stars touched by cancer: broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, This Morning’s Alison Hammond, actor Peter Capaldi, broadcaster and activist Samantha Renke, Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas, broadcaster Fearne Cotton, Bridgerton’s Martins Imhangbe, model Twiggy and Gavin & Stacey’s Larry Lamb. 

50-year-old Melissa Golding works in financial services and is a mum of two from South Croydon, who was diagnosed with grade three breast cancer in 2020, she says: 

“Being diagnosed with cancer is scary enough, but going through scans, surgery and treatment during the pandemic, was extremely tough. When I couldn’t have my family by my side and all the hospital staff were head to toe in PPE due to Covid-19, Macmillan was there for me. As well as being able to turn to the charity’s support line advisors, the website answered all my questions and meeting fellow ‘breasties’ on the online community was so comforting.  

“It’s so upsetting to think that without more Coffee Morning sign-ups people with cancer might not have access to the same support as me. This September, to celebrate being one year on from my last treatment I will be hosting a daytime disco Coffee Morning, with a giant disco ball and sequinned flares, to raise vital funds for Macmillan and celebrate the amazing support that got me through.”

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:  

Macmillan is working tirelessly to do whatever it takes for people with cancer, many of whom are coping with the disruption caused by Covid-19, but without the support of the public, we won’t be able to keep up with the demand for our services.  

“It’s worrying for us to see Coffee Morning registrations are currently even lower than last year during Covid restrictions and want to assure everyone that there are many safe and fun ways to get involved – whether it’s a doorstep cuppa with a neighbour before work, or a family picnic in the park. Every penny raised will help fund vital support for people living with cancer, who need Macmillan now more than ever.”  

Sign up now at macmillan.org.uk/coffee to host a Coffee Morning on 24th September, or whenever suits you best. 

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