Third Sector Awards 2017: Corporate Partnership of the Year - Macmillan Cancer Support with npower

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Awarded to a partnership between a charity, social enterprise or other kind of voluntary organisation and a business that has brought strong mutual benefits to both

What was the partnership?

Macmillan and npower have been working together since 2004 after the cancer support charity was named the energy provider’s charity of the year. People living with cancer often feel the cold more and can find their energy bills increase at a time when they might be unable to work. Working in partnership, Macmillan and npower aimed to make energy costs one less worry for cancer patients.

What did they do?

In 2007, the partners launched npower’s Macmillan Fund, offering bespoke support to people living with cancer by capping bills and writing off debt. In 2014 npower and Macmillan created the Energy Advice Team, offering guidance to people struggling with their bills. In 2016 the partnership launched a PR campaign, raising awareness of why people living with cancer face fuel poverty and signposting cancer patients to targeted information and advice. Npower has committed to funding Macmillan until 2019.

What has been the impact of the partnership?

Since 2004, npower has given more than £9m to help more than 34,000 families affected by cancer, as well as volunteering hundreds of hours of support with a direct cost saving benefit for Macmillan. Included in this, npower has paid out £4.5m through the Macmillan Fund, supporting 4,113 families. That support is growing: £1.4m of fuel debt was cleared in 2016, 32 per cent up on 2015.

What did the judges say?

"This is a wonderful example of an organisation focusing on its own specialist area and finding a way to benefit incredibly needy people," said Neil Peters, project manager at Samaritans. "A fantastic partnership."


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