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What it's like working at Jo’s during coronavirus

Posted on: Wednesday, 29th April 2020 by Rebecca Shoosmith, Head of Support Services

It’s a tricky time to be a charity. We’re facing an anticipated income loss of over 60% and have had to furlough over half of our amazing colleagues to make sure we can continue to deliver our key frontline services. 

Our Fundraising team are working their socks off to raise funds to secure our future, while our services team are trying to deliver support that is needed now more than ever. Whether it’s on the phone, on our website or through our email Ask the Expert service we want to be there when you need us. Our Communications team are making sure as many people as possible know how to find us and we’re working with the NHS and health bodies across the country to raise the voice of people affected by cervical cancer and cell changes - not just now, but in the future. And that’s just part of it. It’s a tricky time but we’re as committed as ever! Below some of our staff share what it’s like to be working at Jo’s at the moment:

Hannah, Support Services Officer

“The calls we are taking have really changed as a result of COVID-19. So many people are facing delayed or cancelled appointments and treatments and the level of anxiety is really high. Sometimes callers are angry or upset, and I try to help them find options so they can feel more in control of the situation they are in. Sometimes they just want someone to listen, to know there’s someone in their corner. It’s such a privilege to be able to help people through their darkest times. We are trying so hard to keep the Helpline open later and for longer at the moment, I can’t bear the thought of Jo’s not being there at the end of a phone for someone in need.”

Imogen, Health Information Manager

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought fresh challenges for everyone. Our community faces new and changing guidance around appointments, treatment and their care. Clear, trustworthy information has never been more vital and we remain as committed as ever to meeting our community’s needs, providing tips and giving answers. We have created an online hub with webpages, videos, blogs and more that is updated almost daily in response to queries and concerns. With reduced capacity in the team it is tough to keep everything up to date, but the alternative isn’t an option – our community, without any support, left to desperately seek answers about what will happen to them.”


Marianne, Ask the Expert panel volunteer and NHS Nurse Colposcopist

“I feel the need to support Jo’s even more at the current time - we are all experiencing changes to the screening programme pathways, due to COVID-19, that we have never seen before, from routine screening to cancer treatment. Ask the Expert is such a valuable service at this time, when appointments are being cancelled and time with health professionals is stretched. Women, their friends and families, more than ever,  need support to get them through this difficult time.”


Dan, Corporate Partnerships Manager

“There has never been a more perilous time for the entire charity sector, it is devastating to think that some charities might not survive. They will leave such big gaps in society which will see so many more vulnerable people with nowhere to turn. I’m determined that that won’t happen to Jo’s. The team are using every bit of creativity to think of new ways to raise funds, we’re exploring every option and our incredible supporters - from organisations to individuals - are pulling out all the stops. We’re far from out of the woods yet and still need as many as people as possible to join our fundraising efforts.”

Amy, Communications Officer

“Our website is full of much-needed brand new resources and support, from tips on managing lymphoedema at home, to resources on coping with anxiety. While our team might be smaller at the moment, we’re working so hard to make sure as many people as possible know that Jo’s are here and very much open. Getting our fundraising messages out is just as important as we need funding more than ever at the moment. I work closely with our amazing media volunteers, most have used our support services in the past, and I know how much Jo’s means to each and every one of them.”



Rebecca, Deputy Chief Executive and Head of Support Services

“We are not alone at Jo’s in having to make sense of a whole new world. However I am continually blown away by the resilience and passion of my amazing colleagues. Some of the stories we are hearing through our support services are truly heartbreaking and we are working hard to keep our services open for longer, as well as looking at new ways of delivering support so that noone has to feel alone at this difficult time. The decisions we have had to make to try and secure the future of Jo’s have been incredibly difficult but a future without Jo’s can’t be an option and I can only thank everyone for working with so much determination to ensure that doesn’t happen.” 


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We're facing a fundraising crisis with most of our fundraising events being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Can you help us? 

Just £16 could fund an urgent helpline call, providing a vital lifeline to a caller in crisis while donating £10 a month will help someone get the answers they need through our ‘Ask the Expert’ service. Donate today > 


Categories: Fundraising Policy support