23 March 2020
Our Chief Executive Delyth Morgan outlines how Breast Cancer Now will continue to support people affected by breast cancer during the coronavirus outbreak.
For over 40 years, Breast Cancer Now, our supporters and the communities we serve have faced many challenges, big and small. And we have come through them all by supporting each other and working together.
Today, we face one of our greatest challenges yet. The coronavirus outbreak represents an unprecedented situation for all of us, but in particular, it will be an extremely difficult and uncertain time for people affected by breast cancer.
We know that so many people will be worried about their risk of infection or about the impact the outbreak may have on their treatment. Whether this affects you or someone you know, we want to reassure you that we are here and we will do everything we can to support anyone affected by breast cancer in the coming months.
Now, more than ever, the entire Breast Cancer Now team is working tirelessly to deliver for the people who need us. This is only possible through the dedication of our supporters and colleagues and I would like to say a huge thank you for your loyalty and understanding during these exceptional times.
However events unfold, we are here
- All of our colleagues have been working from home for the past week, including our Helpline team, who have worked remotely for the first time ever to ensure patients can continue to reach us for information and support in these uncertain times.
- Our Helpline number is 0808 800 6000 and our specialist nurses are currently available from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. If you need someone to talk to, we are just at the end of the phone.
- If you have received treatment for breast cancer and are concerned about coronavirus, please visit https://breastcancernow.org/about-us/media/statements/advice-coronavirus-people-cancer.
We will be updating this information regularly as further expert advice from the NHS is made available.
- While, regrettably, we have suspended our face-to-face services in line with government advice, our Helpline, Ask our Nurses, Someone Like Me and online Forum support services are still running as normal and we are working hard to develop new digital solutions to ensure anyone affected by breast cancer can still get the support they need.
- We are also working together as a coalition of UK cancer charities to support patients and their needs through this rapidly unfolding challenge, and to provide clear, timely and trustworthy information.
- With most workplaces now closing, our scientists are also working to establish ways to take our world-class breast cancer research forward outside of the lab, to ensure that we do not lose momentum and that research progress does not stall.
We need your support now, more than ever
The coronavirus outbreak presents the greatest challenge to date, not only to our 2050 vision, but to the NHS’s ability to ensure everyone diagnosed with breast cancer gets the treatment and support they need. We need to act now and we will only be able to tackle this together.
The latest government guidance and need for social distancing will undoubtedly have a significant impact on our fundraising income, as it will across the whole charity sector. I want to reassure you that we are looking incredibly carefully at how we can tackle the impact that coronavirus will have on our charity as we can be sure those affected by breast cancer need support now more than ever.
In the coming weeks we will be sharing more information about what we are doing to respond to the crisis, and if there is anything we can do to support you at this time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Take care and a big thank you from us all. It’s the kindness and support that we give to each other that will help us get through these unprecedented times.
Delyth Morgan and the Breast Cancer Now team