Why Macmillan coffee mornings matter to cancer patients – The Yorkshire Post says

THE NOW traditional Macmillan coffee morning takes on even more significance today in the wake of new analysis which suggests that it could take over a decade to clear the backlog in cancer cases.

The Yorkshire Post cartoon

First staged in 1990 when a small group of people came together and made a small donation to the charity, it soon grew and became widely renowned as the biggest event of its kind in the world.

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Today marks the return of Macmillan's annual fundraising coffee mornings.

And while Covid will limit the scope of some fundraising gatherings, notably in offices, it is vital that colleagues, families, friends and neighbours still find ways to support an event that has raised £290m since its inception.

After all, there is a barely family that has not been touched by cancer at some point – or been blessed by the extraordinary care and compassion of Macmillan’s nurses and the wider hospice movement.

Yet this also requires money – funding still denied to so many charities by the pandemic at a time when the need for renowned cancer care has never been greater or more urgent.

Macmillan coffee mornings have raised an incredible £290m for cancer care since 1990.

Now Macmillan’s repeated warnings about delays in the cancer diagnosis – and how this will, inevitably, harm the recovery chances of some patients – is backed up by the Institute for Public Policy Research and the CF health consultancy.

Their new research shows how fewer routine checks – a consequence of the pandemic – and longer waiting times for appointments mean that an estimated 19,500 people have not been diagnosed with cancer.

And when they do finally receive a diagnosis, and appropriate treatment, they will be even more dependent on NHS staff and charities like Macmillan, hence fresh appeals to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to recognise the significance of today’s coffee mornings and set aside funds in the Budget to prioritise training for the next generation of cancer nurses. Inevitably, there are families who will need these angels like never before.

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