[T]he votes are in and CancerCare has won £32,000 of National Lottery ‘People’s Projects’ funding for Barrow and Furness.
Barrow residents and people across the UK voted for the ‘CancerCare – We’ll Be There!’ campaign to win funds to set up support groups for people affected by cancer.
Rachel Minshull, from CancerCare’s Furness Centre in Barrow, said: “I was ecstatic when I was told we had won.
“The people of Barrow, Furness, Morecambe Bay area and far beyond had got behind us and were supporting us. A few tears of joy were shed.
“We can now help even more people in the area who have been affected by cancer and offer more than the one-to-one services we currently offer. This is a massive bonus for us here in Barrow, Ulverston and the Furness area.
“We will be working on setting up groups that people feel will be beneficial to them. These may include Pilates, tai chi, craft, painting, cookery, singing – the list goes on. The first thing is to find out what people want so we will be consulting with the local community.”
CancerCare, which is based at the Furness Centre at Trinity Church on Warwick Street in Barrow, was one of five finalists in the Granada TV region. It was the only charity based in Cumbria and there were two other winners based in Manchester (dementia support) and Liverpool (support for schoolchildren).
ITV made a film featuring three people who had used CancerCare’s services and were keen to see groups in Barrow.
Stacy Woodhouse, a young mum who is currently undergoing stem cell treatment in Manchester, Caroline Smith, a mum from Ulverston who survived breast cancer and Hilli McManus, an artist from Lancaster who also survived breast cancer, spoke passionately about the need for groups in Barrow.
Stacy said it would be good to know that she could join a group after her stem cell treatment and Caroline said groups gave people a way to get back into every-day life. Hilli said the group she had attended in Lancaster enabled her to regain her creativity and get back into work. All said they were delighted that the charity had won the money for Barrow.
The film also featured Barrow residents and CancerCare staff, therapists, volunteers, fundraisers and supporters from across South Cumbria and North Lancashire. Many people throughout the UK voted. The final total of votes is yet to be revealed.
During the campaign CancerCare also shared cancer stories, photos, videos, quotes, information and more.
Neil Townsend, Chief Executive of CancerCare, said: “I am thrilled and immensely proud of our achievement in Barrow.
“A huge amount of thanks is owed to all of our wonderful supporters who voted for us and to the CancerCare team who have worked to get Barrow to where it is today.
“We’re also hugely grateful to Josh Stead from ITV for making the film, to our clients who starred in it and to the People’s Projects for their incredible support. The moving testimonies of our clients clearly mobilised people to vote.
“We have many exciting plans for Barrow and look forward to seeing our free services develop over the next year and into the future.”
The ‘People’s Projects’ scheme is run by Big Lottery Fund, ITV and The National Lottery.
Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “As the largest funder of community activity in the UK, we are proud to support grassroots groups that are using the vision, determination and drive of local people to strengthen communities.”
For more information and to watch ITV’s CancerCare film, please go to www.thepeoplesprojects.org.uk