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Wessex Cancer Trust, a self-funded charity which provides free emotional and practical support to anyone living with cancer on the Isle of Wight, in Hampshire and Dorset, is making good progress with their crisis appeal to raise £600,000 by 31st January – but bosses say they are still in a delicate situation.

The charity, which has been supporting local families for almost 40 years, saw a 30% increase in demand for its services last year. It was also affected by a 65% reduction in people leaving a gift in their will and the decline in the high street, which saw its shop sales fall by 15%.

It was announced on 3rd December that the charity was launching a crisis appeal to raise £600,000 – or risk closure. To date, £214,000 has been raised with less than 3 weeks to go until the deadline of 31st.

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Trustees met on Thursday (9th January) to assess the future financial security of the charity based on the response to the appeal so far.

Barry Rinaldi, Wessex Cancer Trust’s Chairman, has said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to our crisis appeal. During December and the first week of January, we have received £214,000 of donations and notifications, with much activity pledged for January. As a charity which relies solely on voluntary donations, the Trustees have been overwhelmed by the response to our Appeal. At this halfway point, we are confident that if our local communities continue to support us that Wessex Cancer Trust has a future.

“Alongside asking for donations, the Trustees have been taking proactive action to secure our future. We continue to review our retail portfolio and explore opportunities to increase its profitability. Following the difficult but responsible decision to close our Overton shop in November, we shut our Waterlooville shop at the end of December and gave notice to close our Cosham store. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to support our shops in a very challenging environment.

“ We are currently consulting with local Councillors and MPs on the delays we are witnessing with the probate process.

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“We are passionate about our mission to support the growing number of people affected by cancer and know this can only be achieved by having a clear vision and plan to deliver. We do have a robust strategy which we will continue to review over the coming month.

“To summarise, whilst we are making good progress with the appeal and are in a position to look to the future, we are still in a delicate situation. We want to emerge stronger and can only do this with your help. What drives us is knowing how different our local communities will look without us. January marks the start of some exciting fundraising events and there has never been a better time to get involved. We urge you to help us if you can.”

The Trustees will meet again at the beginning of February to evaluate the success of the appeal, after which time a further statement will be given.

To help:

● Text ‘SAVEWESSEX’ to 70085 to donate £10. This costs £10 plus a standard rate message
● Donate online by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/savewessexcancertrust
● Organise a fundraising event or activity.

For more information about the appeal visit www.wessexcancer.org.uk/savewessexcancertrust.


The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Az-zahra Aziz
Az-zahra Aziz

Unsure about this charity, but in many it seems the ‘top brass’ take so much in their salaries. It is a shame that these people ‘at the top’ could not be volunteers from early retired suitable people.

Many of the workers work really hard in such charities for low wages or on a voluntary basis.

Whilst we all have to live, I find it distasteful that those who seemingly ‘do’ the least mostly take huge amounts which seems wrong.

I am NOT referring to this charity as I know NOTHING about it’s pay structure etc, but have seen such in others.

Great that there are so many kind, giving people about, but they ‘give’ to ensure those in need receive, not to give someone a lucrative position whilst at the front line others struggle.


People can always donate and ring fence their donation by writing on the cheque or covering notice or online that it must be to pay directly for a specific cause ie The Daisy Buses

none given
none given

for the year to december 31st 2018 – one employee at the trust was paid between £70k and £80k

average number of full time equivalent employees was 38.

fundraising salaries were just over £108k for the year.
support cost salaries – just over £20k
staff costs just over £205k
shop and merchandising salaries – just under £300k…

They spent over £633k on salaries

They had income of £1,456,930 for the year
They spent £273,291 on raising voluntary income.
They spent £716,782 on activities for raising funds.

Their actual expenditure on the charitable activities they indicate that they provide to people..

£485,534 paid out in care grants.
£48,308 paid out in education grants.

The trust ended the year with enough cash to pay its bills due for the next 12 months and have about £200k left over.

No wonder they have an appeal out for cash, when they are spending out more on salaries than they are to the actual people who expect to benefit from the trust.

Just me
Just me

Sadly there’s a lot of charities out there that have become cash cows for the few. I had a direct debit payment set for these guys for some time until I saw audit figures, so stopped all future payment.

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