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CLIC Sargent changes name because it was ‘holding us back’

26 May 2021 News

CLIC Sargent is changing its name to Young Lives vs Cancer as part of a “refocused” strategy to respond to the effect of the pandemic. 

Research found that the new name would resonate better with the general public, making them more likely to donate or accept support from the charity’s services. 

When asked to choose between the two names, respondents were more than three times more likely to donate to Young Lives vs Cancer than to CLIC Sargent. 

CLIC Sargent was formed in 2005 through the merger of Sargent Cancer Care for Children and CLIC (Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood). The charity’s 2016 rebrand introduced “Young Lives vs Cancer” as part of its logo. 

Rachel Kirby-Rider, chief executive, said: “We haven’t taken the decision to change our name lightly. We are incredibly proud of our history; but it’s become increasingly clear that having the name CLIC Sargent meant people were missing out on our support, and the opportunity to raise money for children and young people going through cancer treatment. 

“The research has shown that the charity’s name was holding us back.”

Impact of the pandemic

Young Lives vs Cancer has also surveyed young people with cancer and their families about how they are coping with the pandemic. 

This found that just over half were not coping well with the current situation, while 95% said the charity had helped them. 

The charity was one of several organisations to make people redundant last year due to funding shortfalls after the pandemic made it difficult to raise money in the usual ways. 

Kirby-Ryder said: “In the last year Covid-19 has been the biggest threat to both the charity’s services and the families we support, in our long history.” 

This was because the people it helps were struggling to handle a cancer diagnosis on top of the pressures of living through a pandemic, while at the same time the charity “had to respond to a sudden and significant loss of funding as fundraising activities stopped”.

Refocused strategy, same core purpose

Kirby-Ryder explained that the refocused strategy has not affected its core purpose.

“So, we’ve refocused on our core purpose, which remains the same as it was when both charities were founded,” she said. “It’s shocking to think that over 50 years on, families still continue to struggle to put food on the table while their child is on treatment and young people with cancer are still falling through the gaps in the system. 

“We need to be there to help more families in the UK face whatever cancer throws at them. And it was clear that ignoring the insight and keeping the name CLIC Sargent wouldn’t be doing the right thing for children and young people with cancer. We may have a new name, but we’ve got the same purpose, pride and passion to face it all, together.” 

To meet the need it will aim to increase fundraising and better target support, for example through the new formal partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust and Ellen McArthur Trust.

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