Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that are the best, and that has certainly been shown to be the case with Macmillan’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ annual fundraising campaign.
Every September, in cities, towns and villages across the country, hundreds of shops, businesses, cafes, sports clubs, schools and churches, hold Coffee Mornings to raise funds for Macmillan. These Coffee Mornings raised £29.5 million last year alone, and have raised over £165 million since the campaign first began.
Every year, the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ attracts more and more participants and has become one of the highlights of the community calendar. But we still need it to continue to grow and raise more funds as demands on the charity increase.
As medical sciences advance and new treatments are found, more and more people are living with cancer and for far longer than ever before. There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK today, with this number expected to increase to 4 million by 2030.
When cancer is first diagnosed, patients and their families are not only having to deal with the upset and worry, but can be confused by the different treatment pathways, what benefits they may be entitled to, what support is available and how treatment may affect them. Patients can feel as isolated and Macmillan provide the advice and assistance to help patients to live with cancer and get the support and information they need. They also provide the support to enable people to continue to enjoy life, to socialise and engage with the community.
The ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ has also gotten us talking about cancer more – increasing understanding about the effect it has on people’s lives, encouraging people to recognise the possible symptoms and seek medical advice, and raising awareness about the effect Government policies can have on cancer patients.
I was inspired by the huge effort made by businesses and groups across Chesterfield last year, and met many people whose families have been affected by cancer who are now trying to give something back to help others.
The benefit of all this fundraising was ably demonstrated by Macmillan’s involvement in Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s new Cancer Treatment Centre, which is a real asset and means local cancer sufferers no longer have to travel to Sheffield for treatment.
I am hoping we can make this year’s event even bigger and better than the last. This year’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ is on Friday 29th September and to find the nearest one to you just visit https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/about/search/. It is a great opportunity to meet up with people, eat some fantastic cakes and raise money for a worthy cause. I will be visiting as many as I can across Chesterfield and hope to see you there!