Putting our region's cancer needs first

CEO's Blog December 2021

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

NWCR CEO Alastair Richards

Waiting for change

An old farmer told me a story of how, one early spring day, he lay down in the frosty ground to take a close look at a snowdrop. It had been a wet, windy autumn followed by a cold, wet snowy and frosty winter and for him, the snowdrop marked an important point in time. It was the start of spring and things were changing.

The snowdrop is often the first flower we see in a year – and they appear at the end of winter before any other plants come through. Often there is still frost and snow on the ground when snowdrops start to flower.

I think it's fair to say that 2020 and 2021 have been really unusual years. The pandemic has dominated our news and many aspects of our personal and work lives. It has brought us some new experiences and driven change in many areas. Over the summer and autumn of 2021 we and our supporters have been fortunate to hold a number of events and its been great to see people taking part in those. The Cycle of Hope in July saw 140 cyclists from the region take part in an event for us. There was the skydive, the abseil and even a smattering of coffee mornings – including one where we took over the street and did exercises in the road. It was great to be back at Wirral Bazaar and the Concert for a Cure in November. Seeing people face-to-face has been a real treat.

However, as we move through the cold days of December and towards Christmas, the pandemic is again coming to dominate our news and our lives. Case numbers are rising, measures to reduce mixing are in the air and mask wearing is a requirement for inside events. Many of us will be thinking about the friends and family who we’re due to be seeing over Christmas and how we keep them safe by cutting down our contacts elsewhere.

So, as we reach the shortest day of the year, and Christmas shortly afterwards, my wish for all of you is to stay safe and keep well. It may feel like a long, hard and frosty winter from which we need to shelter – but change will come and soon spring will be in the air. The first flowers will poke through the ground and the year will start again.

Thank you all for your support during 2021. It has been an unusual year but we look forward to better times ahead.