Macmillan Cancer Support fears large drop in funding from lack of Northamptonshire coffee mornings
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In 2019, people in Northamptonshire raised £282,900 by taking part in the charity's annual flagship scheme to fund vital services including nurses and patient grants.
But following the pandemic, the number of people planning to hold a coffee morning in the county has fallen by 71 per cent and the charity fears there will be an equivalent fall in money raised.
The charity fears its supporters do not realise the event is still going ahead – albeit in a new virtual or socially-distanced format – and is urging people to find out about the new ways to take part.
Macmillan partnership manager for Northamptonshire, Kathy Blythe, said: “At Macmillan, we’re facing a possible tsunami of demand coming towards us this autumn, as the cancer system gets moving again and the backlog of delayed diagnoses begins to be dealt with.
"Worryingly this increased need for support would come at a time when our fundraised income has dropped significantly.
“We’re facing the hardest year in our 109-year history. It’s no exaggeration to say Macmillan and people with cancer have never needed the public’s help more than we do right now.”
The picture is similar across the UK, with early figures showing sign-ups for coffee mornings are down by around two-thirds.
While the £27.5m raised in 2019 is expected to fall to under £8m this year - the lowest amount the scheme will have raised in 11 years.
Macmillan is encouraging people to take part however suits them, from having a socially-distanced coffee morning safely from their doorstep to setting up a virtual event online.
Those who prefer to take part in more active fundraising events can also sign up for the first-ever 'coffee morning challenge': tackling a run, walk or cycle to raise cash.
Meanwhile, social media users are being urged to take a selfie while raising a mug for people living with cancer and to make a donation.
To sign up or for more information, visit coffee.macmillan.org.uk.