Putting our region's cancer needs first

CEO's Blog

The latest charity news from North West Cancer Research CEO, Alastair Richards.

NWCR CEO Alastair Richards

We are living in unprecedented times.

By now, you will have heard and perhaps said that many times. You will have been contacted by many organisations to tell you what they are doing, that they are adapting to new situations and that they really value you as a customer and a supporter during this time.

For North West Cancer Research, we know that we need to take the long-view and look forward, past this current interruption in our normal, everyday lives.

Cancer remains a consistent problem in our communities. The current Coronavirus pandemic is a serious threat and something which will sadly take many lives, but we very much hope that it is something which will pass, and which we will learn to treat and manage. Our fight to tackle cancer in our communities must go on during this time.


Short term impacts

Like many aspects of our daily lives, some areas of work for North West Cancer Research have had to be put on hold as we deal with the current lock-down.

A Charity relies on its supporters and fundraisers to generate money to support its vital work. In the last few weeks, we have seen various events cancelled or postponed to protect the health of us all and whilst this will undoubtedly have a major impact on our income, it is the right thing to do. 

For the team in the office, this has been a period of change and adaptation. The normal routine of going into the office has gone and has been replaced by working from the kitchen table or in the spare room. We are having to work in new and innovative ways to find routes around problems and I have been so impressed by the many small acts of leadership shown. As the current 3-week lock-down was announced to the country by the Prime Minister, one of the team messaged the others to say ‘keep your chins up everyone, we can and will get through this.’ It’s a message for the team but also for NWCR as a Charity


Looking forwards

What this current pause in our daily life does give us is an opportunity to stop and think. Our funded researchers are also having to work in different ways. I wonder what new ideas and directions will be generated in this period? What new applications of existing drugs, applications of old techniques to new areas and what sparks of inspiration might be created?

In North West Cancer Research, we are using the time to think about how we can better communicate with our supporters, generate funds and raise awareness when so many of the usual channels are on stop. We are having to scratch our heads but new creativity will come from that.

Our eyes also remain firmly fixed on the region and the battle with cancer we still face. We know that we have some of the highest cancer rates in the country and hot-spots for particular forms of cancer. Each year, tens of thousands of people in our region will find out that they have cancer and sadly, thousands of people will die from this condition. That remains the challenge for us all but is a challenge that we are determined to succeed at and achieve a cancer-free future for us all.