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That was Saturday’s job, checking my kit as I prepare to take part in the National Three Peaks Challenge for Jo’s next weekend. Had I read the blurb properly beforehand I might have been less keen to sign up – walking the length of a marathon, with three hills in it - oh and you try to complete it in 24 hours.
I’m taking part to raise money for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. I am very proud to be the CEO of Jo’s. Back in the 1990s, before Jo’s existed, I received treatment for cervical cell changes and I know how much I would have valued having the support and information provided by Jo’s to help me through that experience. I want Jo’s to be around for years and to support many more women who need us; that’s our ambition in our new long-term strategy.
Not only are cervical screening rates at an historic low, meaning there is more and harder work for us to do towards our ultimate goal of elimination, but an article in The Guardian recently quoted the Chartered Institute of Fundraising as saying that charities are facing a double whammy. Inflation (and in our case pressure on NHS services too) means that demand for the support provided by charities is rising as people struggling to make ends meet naturally turn to the voluntary sector for help. In addition, the cost of running those services is more expensive. The need for donations is greater than ever - but those donations have been falling, with Charities Aid Foundation reporting that 4.9 million people decided not to make one-off donations last year while 3.2 million said they had cut, or stopped, a regular payment to a charity.
The net result is tougher times for charities like Jo’s. We want to continue to support all women and other people with a cervix who need us: through unexpected results, worries about screening, diagnosis and treatment. And we want to work towards a world where cervical cancer is a thing of the past.
But we rely on your help to do this. Maybe a friend of yours is a keen runner and you can suggest they take part in a run and raise money for Jo’s? Does your company nominate a Charity of the Year which Jo’s could apply for, or you could recommend us for? Are you thinking of writing your Will and feel you are in a position to leave a gift to Jo’s? Our website has lots of ideas of how you might support us and, if you aren’t sure what to do, drop us a line.
£110 could provide initial virtual training to 3 of our Helpline volunteers, who will then go on to support hundreds of callers through difficult times
£250 could enable 50 people to join our online Forum, where they can make vital connections with others going through a similar experience, ask their questions and get support from someone who understands.
Thank you. Without our supporters, we simply wouldn’t be able to do what we do.