We’ve got in touch with Macmillan’s Cancer Support Merton Committee to see all of the wonderful things they’ve been doing for the charity during the year…
The Merton committee of Macmillan Cancer Support was founded by a group of ladies in the Borough of Merton over 60 years ago, with the Mayor as their honorary President. The aim was to raise funds to support Macmillan projects in our local hospitals for the benefit of the local community. This is the same today with the money they raise funding projects at St. George’s, St. Helier and the Royal Marsden, Sutton as well as posts within the broader community. They establish and fund these roles, which are then taken on by the NHS, most of their funding covers the role for around 2-3 years.
“Our current goal is to raise c. £125,000 to fund a Clinical Cancer Nurse at St. George’s, Tooting over 2 years, who will work across a range of different cancers as well as looking at the effect of Covid-19 on cancer. “
The committee have their own Enthuse page (alternative to Just Giving) https://macmillan-org.enthuse.com/merton/profile where donations can be made and fundraising events created by anyone. The money raised on this page comes straight to their committee for Merton services.
Over recent years they have funded:
- Support Worker at St. George’s to assist the Breast Cancer Specialist Nurse, relieving her of her non-medical duties, allowing the nurse to spend maximum time to care for her patients. This was the 7th Support Worker that we have funded at the hospital. The role has proved extremely successful and will be marketed to other NHS hospital.
- The Acute Oncology Day Unit (renamed the Ambulatory Oncology Care Unit) at St George’s – c £173,000. This much-needed unit allows cancer patients with additional medical conditions to be assessed and treated promptly by specialists, bypassing the need for them to attend A&E and, in many cases, overnight stays.
- A group of 6 Support Workers at St. George’s
- Numerous consultant and Nurse posts based at the Royal Marsden, Sutton, St. Helier, Epsom, costing in the region of £134-£137k each.
- Local GP liaising between patients and hospitals.
The current committee, under the leadership of Chairman Zoe Penny, comprises 17 women and one brave man! Many of the group have been involved for over 20 years. They are delighted to have been joined recently by Cllr Janice Howard. Janice made us her joint charity during her mayoral year, and the committee were over the moon to receive a huge donation of £40,000, reflecting her determined and inspiring attitude to fundraising for a good cause.
In a normal year, they run all sorts of events, starting with the Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra’s Charity concert in February/March, held at St. Paul’s Church, Augustus Road, and we are all very much looking forward their 25th annual concert being held there in March – fingers crossed. Moving through the year early spring brings the very popular Quiz Night, followed by a summer BBQ in a local garden. Not just ANY BBQ – whole fillets of beef, not burgers, are on the menu!
The summer also brings out the buckets – street collections are an important part of our income. The Merton Committee are always looking for extra help…! Anyone that would like to be involved can contact them via our website https://www.macmillanmerton.com/
During the course of the year, they try to fit in talks, coffee mornings and a biannual Christmas Party – but they are always interested in new ideas and open to offers…
Like every other charity their income has been hit badly by the implications of Covid-19 and they lost their biggest fundraising event, held at the end of October: the ‘Early Early’ Christmas fair. However, the online site, Brilliant Little Brands, came to the rescue and they have been able to run the Christmas Fair on a virtual platform.
It will run until Christmas so there is still plenty of time to buy your presents in a safe way, knowing that 10% goes directly to Macmillan’s services at St. George’s Hospital. And have a look at their unique, very well priced, Christmas cards, many featuring local images. www.brilliantlittlebrands.com/mertonmacmillan
Lastly, we are extremely lucky to have help from sponsors over the years but in particular: Robert Holmes & Company have generously supported us for 25 years, and Big Yellow Storage without who’s help we would have nowhere to store all our equipment!
We are amazed and so proud of what these ladies (and gent) are doing for the Macmillan Charity. Be sure to check out their enthuse page and why not have some fun at their Christmas fair and pop along to one of their next events…
Written By: Hannah Ablett – Deputy Editor