Macmillan’s Coffee Morning faces £20m drop for the second year running

27 Aug 2021 News

Alison Hammond is urging people to host a Coffee Morning this September to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and help the charity continue to deliver vital services for people with cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support’s Coffee Morning is on course to raise £20m less than it did in 2019, marking the second year in a row where income has been substantially down on pre-pandemic levels.

The Coffee Morning fundraising event will take place on 24 September 2021, and today Macmillan warned of a £20m shortfall compared with a normal year. 

In 2019 the event raised £27.5m for Macmillan. In 2020, the amount raised was £17.5m lower than expected, and this year's is currently on track to raise even less, with a third of the 2019 total (29%). 

Combined, this could mean “almost 200,000 people living with cancer risk missing out on care from a Macmillan nurse over the next two years,” the charity said, as it launches a celebrity-led campaign for this year's event.

At this stage, the number of sign-ups for the event is more than three-quarters below average. By the time the event takes place, overall sign-ups are expected to be down by more than two-thirds, 68%, and the charity estimates that this could amount to a total income drop of as much as £40m over the two-year period.

The vast majority, 98%, of Macmillan's funding comes directly from donations, but Covid-19 has hampered the viability of a number of high-profile fundraising events. 

'It’s worrying for us to see Coffee Morning registrations are currently even lower than last year'

The charity says that Covid-19 has meant demand for Macmillan’s services is high, while income remains low compared with previous years. For example, its helpline is currently taking a fifth more calls than this time last year.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan, said that without more fundraising income, the charity will not be able to keep up with demand.

She said: “Macmillan is working tirelessly to do whatever it takes for people with cancer, many of whom are coping with the disruption caused by Covid-19, but without the support of the public we won’t be able to keep up with the demand for our services.  

“It’s worrying for us to see Coffee Morning registrations are currently even lower than last year during Covid restrictions and want to assure everyone that there are many safe and fun ways to get involved – whether it’s a doorstep cuppa with a neighbour before work, or a family picnic in the park. Every penny raised will help fund vital support for people living with cancer, who need Macmillan now more than ever.”  

In 2020, the charity estimates that it reached around 976,000 cancer patients.

Celebrity campaign 

Macmillan has now enlisted the support of This Morning’s Alison Hammond, actor Peter Capaldi and broadcaster Fearne Cotton as part of a campaign to urge more of the public to host a Coffee Morning event. 

The Celebrity photographer Nicky Johnston has produced a series of images of 12 celebs raising their coffee cups in support.  

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.


More on