A Derby charity is celebrating after it awarded its 300th grant to help a local family living with cancer pay for everyday costs – amid one of the biggest funding challenges it has ever faced.
Trustees at Annabel’s Angels say they are ‘incredibly proud’ to have hit the landmark this month, taking the total money that it has handed out over the years to £105,000.
Annabel’s Angels, which is run by volunteers, was set up in 2014 in memory of Derby mum-of-three Annabel Hancox, who died of secondary breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 40.
After she died, her family discovered that she had built up an online community of friends who she had been supporting as they underwent their own cancer treatment and they decided to set up a charity in her name, in order that her generous spirit would live on.
Seven years on, Annabel’s Angels regularly hand out grants of up to £300 to pay for food, fuel, white goods, furniture and even piano lessons to help ease the hardship and ensure that life can continue for Derbyshire families whose livelihoods and incomes are disrupted by cancer.
Charity secretary Rachel Hayward said that Annabel’s Angels has experienced a shortfall in funds this year because the public sporting events through which it gains the majority of its funding, such as the Derby 10 Mile Race and the Derby Half Marathon, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.
At the same time, it is now dealing with a spike in referrals from local hospitals, which had halted all cancer treatment earlier this year in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic but are now making up for the lost time.
“Everyone associated with Annabel’s Angels is thrilled and extremely proud to have reached such a momentous landmark and we are incredibly grateful to everybody who has helped us down the years.
“We have now set our sights on achieving our 400th grant, but nobody can be in any doubt as to the significant challenge that is facing us at this time.
“We have been able to secure some extra funding and our fundraising efforts are continuing, but there is no doubt that the large, mass participation events are our lifeblood, so we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that we can continue to help more local families in need.”
To find out more about Annabel’s Angels visit www.annabelsangels.co.uk