Macmillan launches emergency appeal in face of 50 per cent drop in income

Macmillan Cancer Support has launched an emergency fundraising campaign as demand for its services soars while it faces an estimated 50 per cent drop in income because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The charity said it was facing an unprecedented demand for its services as phone calls to its support line about Covid-19 were up by 1,600 per cent during March compared with the previous month and cancer nurses were redeployed because of the outbreak. 

The charity said it was investing in a £5m coronavirus response fund to address emerging needs and fund other initiatives, which could include enabling cancer patients to speak virtually with their loved ones or paying for support workers to help with increased workloads. 

Celebrities including Martin Clunes, Maxine Peake, Fearne Cotton and Joe Lycett have taken part in a video appealing for people to support the charity’s campaign. 

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “At a time when our support has become more important than ever, our income faces a staggering drop, and the truth is we can’t continue to be there for all the people who need us without the support of the public. 

“We’re doing everything we can to help people living with cancer, including the new services announced today to help address the immediate and unique challenges that having cancer during this pandemic brings. 

“But we simply can’t make sure that no one faces cancer alone, without the public’s support.”

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