CancerCare is a charity supporting people across North Lancashire & South Cumbria affected by cancer or bereavement. They help people discover their capacity for life when times are tough; with the professional help, emotional support and collective strength to face whatever’s next. Anna Webster works as part of CancerCare’s Fundraising Team. Her role involves helping to raise the funds needed to ensure the service is free to access for all those in the community who turn to the charity for help. She chats to us below about how Patchwork helped create a visual and exciting fundraising campaign to bring their new CancerCare centre to life!
What were you fundraising for and what did you hope to achieve with your Patchwork page?
Demand for CancerCare’s support has been extremely high during the pandemic. To add to our existing centres in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow, we opened a new centre in Morecambe so that we didn’t have to keep anyone waiting for the help they needed. It also made our services more accessible to people living in the Morecambe centre, who would previously have had to travel to our centre in Lancaster for support. The thought of having to travel to a session – particularly for someone who is feeling poorly – can be a huge barrier to someone needing support. Being able to pop into a CancerCare centre in the heart of Morecambe will hopefully make it easier for them to access help.
We wanted to get the centre open as quickly as possible to help meet demand, but we needed help to transform the building into welcoming & relaxing space for those in our community affected by cancer or bereavement.
Why did using Patchwork to raise funds appeal to you?
We needed to raise funds for furniture and decorating costs, as well as for simple things that make all the difference to our clients. Little things like mugs so that we can welcome them with a warming cup of tea or coffee. We loved that Patchwork gave us the option to add pictures of the items we needed to fund so that our supporters could clearly see the impact their gift could have. Even though social-distancing meant they couldn’t physically come and help us to decorate or move in, they could still feel part of getting the centre ready.
How easy was it to set up your page?
Setting up the page was really straightforward and actually quite exciting! We chose bright, colourful images that illustrated our vision for the new centre – almost like a mood board! It was easy to change the position of the images and buttons by dragging them around the page. We could also enter our own text to elaborate on the difference each item could make to the local people who would be using the centre. It looked really professional and was really easy to edit during the campaign when there was another item that we needed to fund.
How did Patchwork help your fundraising campaign?
When the pandemic hit, much of our traditional fundraising became impossible at a time when demand for our support was higher than ever. Patchwork allowed us to create a visually-exciting fundraising campaign and collect donations digitally. The funds came into our account quickly so that we could put them to use straight away and the support we received from the team at Patchwork was so helpful! We got the feeling that they were as excited about our project as we were!
How was your fundraising page received by your supporters?
We launched our fundraising page with posts on our social media pages and with an email campaign. It was amazing to see the donations start to come in almost immediately. On the first day of the campaign, our amazing supporters had funded clocks for our therapy rooms, a fresh coat of paint for the walls and even a brand-new washing machine to wash the towels used every day in our therapeutic massage appointments! It was lovely to see the kind messages that our supporters left when making their donations too. We really felt that our supporters were behind us as we worked to get the centre ready.
Would you recommend Patchwork to other small charities?
We would definitely use Patchwork again. It was brilliant for putting a fundraising together quickly when there was a real urgency for us to raise funds and get our centre open as soon as possible. I would recommend that other charities consider it for a fundraising campaign, particularly where they are looking to fund a specific project. It was great to be able to use images to demonstrate to our supporters the impact their gift would have and for them to be able to give quickly and easily by clicking on the item or amount they wanted to fund.
And the end result? Are you pleased with your new space?
Thanks to the incredible support from our donors, we were able to open the doors to our new Morecambe centre in May 2021. Donations from our Patchwork campaign meant we could transform the space from a grey, empty building into a bright, welcoming hub. People in our community facing cancer or loss can now access counselling, therapy, group sessions and activities, or just pop in for a friendly chat and some moral support. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped to make this possible, during such difficult times. Thanks to them, CancerCare can be here for anyone in the Morecambe community affected by cancer or bereavement, now and long after the pandemic.
Thanks so much Anna for taking the time to tell us all about your new space, brought to life by your community and Patchwork! We are thrilled to have been able to support you. If you’d like to read more about the work that CancerCare do click here. If you’ve been inspired to set up your own fundraising page for a cause close to your heart you can take a look at our easy to customise templates or simply start a Patchwork page from scratch!