25-year-old cancer charity closes due to financial challenges

28 May 2024 News

By wedninth, Adobe

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has announced its closure due to facing “insurmountable” financial challenges.

It has ceased trading immediately and the charity is no longer responding to emails, calls or letters.

The cancer charity referred beneficiaries to Macmillan Cancer Support and the Eve Appeal in its stead.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust was created in 1999 by James Maxwell in memory of his wife Jo, who died from cervical cancer at the age of 40. 

Following her diagnosis in 1995, the couple found it difficult to locate information about the disease, so Maxwell wanted to create a central resource for others experiencing it. 

‘Cannot ignore the financial constraints’

In a statement on its website, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said despite its “unwavering commitment and dedication” the financial challenges have become “insurmountable”, leading to the decision to place the charity into insolvency. 

“Together, we have achieved remarkable milestones in raising awareness, providing vital information, and offering support services to thousands of individuals across the country.

“While we celebrate the progress we have made together, we cannot ignore the financial constraints that have forced us to reach this decision.

“Despite our best efforts to secure sustainable funding and navigate the complexities of the current economic climate, the reality is that we can no longer continue our operations.”

The statement adds: “Since the inception of this charity, the possibility of eliminating cervical cancer has become closer to reality due to developments in the cervical screening and HPV vaccination programs.

“We sincerely hope that the progress achieved to date is not lost and that the UK government develops a funded plan to eliminate cervical cancer at the earliest opportunity.”

Over 20 jobs lost

The charity’s most recent accounts state it had 23 employees.

However, they add that the charity was “looking to increase our staff numbers to cope with increased capacity and in light of new contracts secured”. 

Last November it also recruited a senior press and PR officer on a year contract. 

The charity’s documents are due to be filed with the Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, but are currently 27 days overdue. 

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s CEO, Martin Hunt, took up the role six months ago, succeeding Samantha Dixon who stepped down after two years. 

Its accounts for the year ending July 2022 show an income of £1.3m against expenditure of £1.6m, meaning it ended the year with a deficit of £245,000. 

The charity’s income fell by almost £300,000 on the previous financial year, which it put down to a slow return to face-to-face fundraising after lockdowns. 

The funds it carried forward to the next financial year were £356,000, a decrease of £250,000 on the year before. 

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