Sharon Kell took Rose Woodward’s place at the Cancer52 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) meeting earlier this month, where the following was discussed:

CEO survey:

  • 18 organisations took part and 44% were small/medium organisations
  • Most people used social media helplines (300-1m)
  • Demand during the COVID-19 pandemic peaked at 60% in some organisations – demand rose in most organisations
  • Most spent < £100K during the worst of the pandemic
  • Most organisations stayed the same as before the pandemic in terms of service offerings
  • Seven received government money (job retention schemes, National Lottery Fund)
  • Two organisations were worried about continuing into next year
  • The CEO networking group was deemed a good idea by the CEOs on the call i.e., sharing office/meeting space etc.
  • There has been an impact on patients and a knock-on effect on services – Cancer52 can support this
  • Next steps: feedback on documents and pressing for financial support from the government.

Kruger report: Charity reaction to Kruger report: ‘It is critical that government now acts’

  • This report recognises the value of small charities and is not just about ‘village hall’ charities, but recognises that small research charities and patient support groups have a huge role in the future working together
  • Peoples’ lives have changed since coronavirus – we need to respond to that and listen to beneficiaries to develop services
  • Creativity and innovation is key


What next?

  • Doing things differently; national communities with bespoke needs
  • Visibility of our work needs improvement. The general public are not aware that charities do a lot of the work behind the scenes – they think that most of what we do is the government’s/NHS’ responsibility
  • Big charities, e.g., Cancer Research UK and Macmillan, have been thrown under the bus in terms of redundancies, furlough and being slow to adapt to new ways of working.


  • There is a struggle to get people to take part in virtual fundraising events – perhaps we need to physically target supporters to get them signed-up, or use a celebrity fundraiser e.g., Jonathon Davies, rugby player: (20+) Watch | Facebook
  • We need more press coverage, especially in regional areas, and more use of social media groups specifically for fundraising on WhatsApp, FaceBook, JustGiving etc.

Cancer Recovery Task Force

  • The Cancer Recovery Task Force met for the first time on 22 September 2020. Cancer52 has a place at the table, as do other rare and less common cancer organisations, including Blood Cancer Alliance, Children and Young People’s Coalition and Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce
  • No mention of clinical trials and when they will resume/get back to normal – rarer cancers rely heavily on clinical trials because of lack of treatments
  • Cancer patients will only be treated if COVID-19 is under control – we need to reassure people that cancer services will be protected. Clinical trials currently running are pharmaceutical trials since the NHS does not have the capacity
  • Not everyone in hospital is being tested routinely, including staff and patients
  • The NHS must consider the long-term effects of COVID-19 on cancer care and treatment.