CLIC Sargent has launched a new five-year strategy aiming to be “better, faster stronger” and become more financially sustainable in challenging times.
The charity said that “it has built the strategy around the knowledge that tougher economic times in the UK are placing an even greater strain on young cancer patients and their families”.
The Better, Faster, Stronger 2020-2025 strategy lists three priorities: “reach all children and young people with cancer”, “create an equitable service across the UK” and “build a more sustainable organisation”.
CLIC Sargent is only funded through voluntary and trading income. It says economic uncertainty means it needs to be “realistic” about resources, and to make sustainability, instead of significant growth, a priority.
The charity says its approach entails “making its resources stretch further”, including using technology, looking at ways to grow income and recruiting more volunteers.
The strategy also says the organisation will “consider how we use our fixed assets, improve procurement, and maximise effectiveness of income streams.”
CLIC Sargent’s income has been growing over the last few years. The charity raised £29.5m in 2018-19, up from £28.8m in the previous year.
In a bid to increase transparency, CLIC Sargent publishes yearly impact reports where it outlines its performance and challenges, as well as successes. This includes looking at how much the charity raises for every £1 spent on fundraising. In 2018-19, it was £2.27, down from £2.42 the year before.
Kate Lee, chief executive, CLIC Sargent, said: “Like many charities, we can see that it’s getting harder to fundraise. At the same time, the need for our services is increasing and costs are rising.
“We don’t receive any government funding for our work helping more than 7,000 children and young people with cancer every year; we rely entirely on donations from our incredible supporters. That’s why our goal is to be stronger and build financially sustainability.”
Outreach and equitable service
The pledge to “reach all children and young people with cancer” stems from research according to which almost 900 cancer patients a year under 25 in the UK are not currently referred for age-specific specialist support. This can happen for different reasons, including young cancer patients being treated in adult wards.
CLIC Sargent will also be focusing on making sure its additional services, which have at times been different in different local areas, are equally available across the whole UK, and on building partnerships with other organisations.
Lee said: “We know that life is getting so much harder across the UK, but this makes it even tougher when you’re dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis. The reality is that a growing number of the families we support are struggling with debt and trying to make ends meet.
“The idea that a family who are already watching their child going through the painful reality of cancer treatment also has to use a foodbank just to feed their kids is horrendous, but it’s happening. CLIC Sargent’s support services are more desperately needed now than ever before.”