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20 cancer charities launch collaborative fundraising campaign

16 Sep 2020 News

Twenty cancer charities have launched a collaborative fundraising campaign in a bid to make up for the income shortfall caused by the coronavirus crisis. 

The 20 for 20 campaign will start on Sunday 20 September. It asks supporters to do a challenge or activity based on the number 20 for 20 days, and to fundraise for 20 charities supporting patients with less common and rare cancers.

The campaign was organised by Sarcoma UK and involves 19 more charities, including Target Ovarian Cancer and Brain Tumour Research.

It aims to raise £250,000 in total and is inspired by the 2.6 Challenge, which raised more than £11m for charities last spring with a similar pitch to fundraisers.

New challenges to community fundraising

The campaign comes in response to the fall in fundraising income caused by the crisis, especially by the cancellation of fundraising events such as the London Marathon and Prudential RideLondon. 

Community fundraising activities are also being hit by social distancing measures.

Introducing the campaign, the charities said: “Whereas the warmer months of the year would traditionally bring in income through community fundraising, the rate of lockdown easing, public confidence and sudden lockdowns in cities like Leicester and Aberdeen present new challenges to the community fundraising model.”

The 20 charities involved collectively support about 87,000 people and fund about £6m of cancer research a year. The majority of them (about 70%) have not received any government funding since the crisis started.

Not competitors but partners

Organisers said they hope the collaborative nature of the campaign will make it more successful.

Jane Lyons, chief executive of Cancer52, a charity that represents nearly 100 rare and less common patient support groups and charities in the UK, said: “For countless patients and their families, the charities taking part in 20 for 20 are a lifeline of support, information, campaigning and are funders of research specifically looking into these cancers.  

“We risk losing this in the long-term if these charities have to further cut what they can do, or worse still, shut. 20 for 20 is a powerful statement about a unique collaboration to bring in some much-needed income that has been lost due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a strong collective voice, we believe we can achieve more together than apart.”

Richard Davidson, chief executive of Sarcoma UK, said that "there is a time bomb for cancer on the horizon", which makes the 20 cancer charities "needed now more than ever". 

He said: “20 for 20 is a bold attempt to take control of the situation, not as competitors but as partners to make sure we can continue to be there for patients now and crucially, in the future.”

Headline sponsor of the campaign is biopharmaceutical company Takeda.

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