Celebrating giving on this year's International Day Of Charity
It’s International Day of Charity!
“What is that?” you ask. Well, you’re in the right place!
This “day” was setup in 2012 by the UN General Assembly, “created in the hope of mobilizing people all around the world to help others”. It was chosen to be celebrated on the 5th September to commemorate the anniversary of Mother Teresa's death, who (apart from being an all-round, good person) received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 in “recognition of her work in bringing help to suffering humanity”
There’s something special about giving. At its most basic, giving gives you pleasure, studies have shown that your brain’s “pleasure circuits” are activated by acts of charity, this is something referred to as the “Warm Glow Theory”.
Not my words, the words of Psychology Today (please pick up on the Alan Partridge reference).
Charitable giving can be defined in a lot of ways, it’s not just giving money which gives us a “warm glow”. It can be as simple as volunteering for a charity or using Amazon Smile when you next make a purchase.
On this International Day of Charity, we wanted to celebrate our wonderful supporters & highlight how exactly we use your donations to support The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, because when you spend your money, you need to know where it is going. You wouldn’t buy a TV without knowing you will be able to watch Bake Off that evening & you wouldn’t buy a car without knowing you will be able to drive home.
On top of this, we know times are hard for many people, with a recent report finding that across the UK, fewer people are able to give to charities right now, so it’s important now more than ever for us to share how your donations are supporting the incredible work carried out by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
The thought that money donated today could help a patient tomorrow, is a real driving force for why many people support us, this is why we’ve committed to funding the Bright Ideas Scheme.
Enabling innovations in care for every patient, every day
We have created a way for staff and volunteers at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre to make a real, positive change to the people they meet every day on the front line.
Through the Bright Ideas programme, projects funded can range from huge, life-changing innovations, to smaller touches that change what we do, while have a big impact; caring for people in a way that goes beyond NHS services to provide the best possible treatment. It's thanks to Charity donations that we can make these Bright Ideas a reality
Just a few examples include:
- Chemotherapy in the Community supporting the Trust's continued aim to bring cancer care closer to the people who need it, by providing treatment at home and work.
- Massage guns to relieve pain and muscular aches, reducing the need for prescribed drugs.
- 360 degree toothbrushes are a small, but gentle and effective way for very sick patients to manage their mouth care,
Support for children and families
Imagine being a child and learning that a loved one has cancer. Through the work of the Family Support Practitioner at Clatterbridge, the Charity helps to carry these families through one of the toughest times of their lives with love, giving children the tools to cope with the diagnosis and possible death of a parent or loved one. This includes counselling, preparing memory boxes, play therapy resources, books and journals.
Funding vital Chemotherapy services
After funding a £25,000 investment into Clatterbridge’s Chemo in the Community programme in 2021, we are delighted to be improving patient care further through the funding of additional Scalp Cooling machines this year which help to limit hair loss in patients.
In many cases hair loss is the first visible side effect for patients during treatment and can be one of the most profound – a sudden and obvious sign to themselves and those around them that a person is undergoing cancer treatment.
Now, thanks to your donations, this isn't the case for those patients who wish to try and reduce the loss of their hair while undergoing treatment.
These machines, each costing around £12,000, will make a huge difference to our patients – increasing confidence, self-esteem and helping them to feel more in control of their treatments. They are not widely available through many NHS services so we are especially pleased to be providing them to Clatterbridge patients.
Supporting Cancer Research
The Charity is offering the brightest doctors at Clatterbridge the chance to develop as future research leaders by funding their scientific training, under the supervision of expert scientists at Clatterbridge. One such person is Dr Jim Parry who has been a doctor at Clatterbridge for five years and has recently undertaken his first steps into the world of lab-based cancer research.
“The science of immunotherapy is very young, there is still so much to be understood. The only way to do that is to ask new questions and explore new boundaries. I will be analysing the immune cells of patients at a level of detail which has never been done, to help us to design better therapies in the future. I am so grateful to have this opportunity and must thank the donors to The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity – it is an absolute privilege to be undertaking research which will help to improve someone’s treatment in years to come – as a doctor, is there anything better?”
Cancer survival figures have doubled in the past 40 years and in almost every type of the disease, this is due to vital research into better treatments.
As a Charity supporting a region where cancer incidence is high and survival rates are sometimes poor – we want to help The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre to bring the latest treatments and trials to its patients.
The Research and Innovation Directorate at Clatterbridge has shown rapid expansion in clinical trials in recent years, and it's thanks to your donations that we can support research at Clatterbridge in so many ways:
- Informing clinical decisions around cancer treatment in relation to the effects of Covid-19 on people with cancer.
- Recruitment of additional clinical trials nursing staff to enable more patients to take part.
- Giving doctors and scientists the freedom to try something new.
"Winning funding was always a challenge” says Christian, Director of Clinical Research, “but it’s now harder than ever; a pharmaceutical company might be willing to fund a project with obvious benefit for them but what about the discovery science?
And one of my biggest concerns remains the training and development of new research talent.
We need to do all that we can to ensure that a scientific career is open and appealing to those doctors who have an interest in research, otherwise I will never get to retire!”
Thankfully the Charity has committed to helping in this effort by agreeing to fund a number of research initiatives, including the costs of helping young doctors to take the first step towards a research career.
Enhancing the patient environment
You are helping to ensure patients are cared for in the best possible environment, creating peaceful indoor and outdoor spaces and funding therapeutic work to encourage emotional wellbeing, through the arts.
Funded by donations, the Charity offers a range of artwork, creative activities and performances for patients and staff at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. Through our Arts Co-ordinator, we enhance the patient environment to create welcoming and calm spaces. We arrange arts activities and workshops which relieve boredom, improve mood and reduce anxiety for patients. Our music programme entertains and engages our patients and their families with live performances and person-centres music making activities.
Evidence shows that music and art can support cancer patients, increase relaxation and reduce fatigue, improving the relationship with one's body and promote hope.
“It’s an avenue to friendship. We don’t talk about treatment or appointments or prognosis, we talk about our families, and food, and football." Hazel
So, how can you celebrate International Day of Charity?
We know how amazing our supporters are and we wanted to let you know, if you are able, how you can support The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.