Friday 12 October 2018 10:26 am

The power of partnerships


Maggie’s is a charity that prides itself on how we treat the people who come through our doors after a cancer diagnosis as individuals with different needs, which we listen to and support. In the same way we tailor our programme of support to each person we also work with businesses to ensure we can fundraise with them in a creative way that best fits their ethos and employer needs.

In the past, we have worked with a range of corporate partners to develop new parts of our programme of support or on special collaborative projects. One of our most successful and longstanding partnerships has been with People’s Postcode Lottery, with whom we celebrate our 10 year anniversary of working together this year.

Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery over the past decade, we have received almost £12 million in funding. This support is unique in that it is long-term, flexible and unrestricted, which means that we are able to decide how to use the funds in the best way possible. This allows us to reach as many people with cancer as possible, in many different ways.

Last year, actor, tv presenter and Maggie’s Patron, Janet Ellis ran a pilot ‘Power of Words’ workshop in our Maggie’s West London centre, during which people living with cancer were asked which of the words they hear time and time again carried strong negative associations for them.

Following these workshops we compiled a list of the top 10 words and phrases that have negative connotations for people living with cancer and together with People’s Postcode Lottery we ran a UK-wide campaign. We also commissioned an accompanying film, which recorded high levels of engagement. This partnership working approach, helped to build awareness of the language of cancer and how words and expressions can make people feel.

This year, with funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we have designed and launched five new standalone workshops, all with a focus to help people navigate their closest relationships. Our ‘Managing Relationships’ workshops have been based on research that we conducted earlier this year that revealed over two thirds of people living with cancer, either themselves or with a partner with cancer, believe that the diagnosis and subsequent treatment has had an impact on their relationship.

The new workshops, which mark further expansion of our cancer services, will include titles such as ‘Starting a new relationship’, ‘Relationships when life is full of uncertainty’ and ‘Relationships when your body has changed’. These sessions are designed to help people with cancer as well as carers, not only with romantic relationships but with talking to children, friendships and working relationships. The workshops are a great extension of the support we have been offering at Maggie’s on a one-to-one basis for the past 22 years, and will still continue to offer to anyone who wants or needs it. However, to be able to run workshops means that we can reach more people who might be struggling with relationships due to a cancer diagnosis and that is why support from external sources such as players of People’s Postcode Lottery is so important to helping us to grow as a charity.

At Maggie’s, partnerships only serve to strengthen the support we offer and we look forward to seeing what innovative new support services we can offer people with cancer and their families and friends thanks to the support of others, such as players of People’s Postcode Lottery.