Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2018 drew to a close on a high after families joined CLIC Sargent to hand in our Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund petition to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Maisie, a child CLIC Sargent has supported, holding a giant train ticket

More than 30,000 people signed the petition in just over three weeks to ask the government to provide a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund for families of young cancer patients travelling to and from hospital for vital treatment.

Now we are asking our supporters to keep the momentum going and email your MP using our quick and easy tool,  to ensure that better financial support is provided.

During September 2018 Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth announced Labour’s commitment to setting up a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund.

Are we nearly there yet?

Our report Are we nearly there yet? highlights the cost of that travel and the lack of financial support available to families.

It sets out why we are calling on the government to create a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund to help children and young people with cancer, and their families, deal with the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis and limit the damage cancer causes to young lives.

Giving families a voice

CLIC Sargent spoke to families across the UK, hearing their stories and working to share their stories in a whole range of ways to highlight why a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund is so important.

Lots of families filmed themselves sharing their experiences of travelling to and from hospital for their child’s treatment, and the huge financial impact that had on them.

Media

Media coverage included CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Kate Lee being interviewed on BBC 2’s Victoria Derbyshire show and our Associate Director of Policy and Influencing Clare Laxton on BBC Breakfast on launch day, alongside some of our families to discuss our campaign.

We also had coverage across national media throughout the month including The Telegraph, Metro, TalkRadio and The I as well as lots of regional coverage of our families’ stories across the UK highlighting the financial cost of travelling to and from hospital.

Our fundraising

There were more than 200 Childhood Cancer Awareness Month events across the UK. Events ranged from coffee mornings and stalls to special Challenge 60 events, reflecting the average distance families have to travel to hospital and bespoke challenges, including CrossFit Workouts of the Day, running and cycling challenges – one amazing man, Andy Smith, cycled 616 miles in a week!

Celebrity support

Celebrities showed their support for CLIC Sargent throughout the month as well, from Jake Humphrey sharing our petition to his followers, to Aston Merrygold joining two of our young people to take part in a video before taking them to meet McFly’s Harry Judd and gymnast Louis Smith and making sure they were all wearing their gold ribbon pin badges.

We also hosted our annual Sunningdale Golf Day where a whole host of celebrity supporters, including Vernon Kay and John Terry, to name just a few, came along.

Celebs also showed their support on social media by wearing their pin badges including rugby players Matt Dawson and James Haskell and Sky Sports presenter Alex Payne.

Our shops

Staff and volunteers in our 25 charity shops were busy gathering more than 13,500 petition signatures from customers as well as holding fundraising events in store and decorating their shop windows.

Lots of our shops organised activities throughout the month, including a stepathon, stalls outside shops, a static 60 mile bike ride and pub quizzes. Supporters picked up more than 2,000 gold ribbon pin badges in our stores.

Our partners

Our corporate partners got involved, with our gold ribbon pin badges available across J D Wetherspoon pubs, Morrisons and selected H Samuel and Ernest Jones stores. Staff from our partners took on their own challenges – walking, running and cycling to help raise extra funds.

Our partner Morrisons hosted its biggest ever charity product promotion, with a total of 45 products on sale under the ‘Every Pack Gives Back’ campaign and they also launched a Childhood Cancer Awareness Month bouquet, all of which carried donations to CLIC Sargent. Customers could also get their gold ribbon pin badges by the tills.

Staff were encouraged to get active with the ‘Morrisons Makes Miles’ challenge, with many organising sponsored walks to reflect the distance families of young cancer patients travel to get to treatment.

We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign and for making it such a huge success.

Keeping up the pressure

We need to keep up the pressure on the government so we’re asking supporters to ‘Email your MP‘ to tell them why a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund is so important. Please email your MP today.