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Community / Cancer charity launches urgent donations appeal as coronavirus hits income

CLAN Cancer Support has launched a donations appeal in a bid to counter a “significant drop in income” resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

The charity has also seen increased demand for its telephone support, counselling and online services after being forced to close its branches due to the pandemic.

The appeal comes as charities across the country report a surge in demand while voluntary income declines.

CLAN operates in the north and north east of Scotland, with a centre located in Lerwick.

However, it has had to postpone major fundraising events due to coronavirus – leading to a potential large deficit in funds.

CLAN receives no public funding, relying entirely on donations, grants and its own fundraising events.

The charity has now launched its Here for You campaign which encourages people to donate £10 or whatever they can to help.

People can donate through the CLAN website.

Chief executive Dr Colette Backwell said: “Coronavirus is the toughest challenge CLAN has ever faced, but we are continuing to support our clients through this time.

Dr Colette Backwell took on her new duties as CLAN chief executive earlier this month - Photo: CLANCLAN chief executive Dr Colette Backwell.

“We support over 2,600 people every year and it is more important than ever that CLAN continues to be here for them, which is why we are launching the CLAN ‘Here for You’ Appeal today.”

Within a week of CLAN’s centres closing, it had provided over 500 telephone support calls, counselling sessions and contact with its children and family clients.

Fiona Fernie, CLAN’s head of income generation and business development, said: “We took the decision to postpone our key fundraising events and close our charity shops to ensure the safety of our supporters, volunteers and staff.

“Without the income from our shops and fundraising events, we cannot sustain the provision of our professional cancer support in the longer term. Cancer is not going away and our services are more vital than ever, so we want to ensure we are here to support those who need us most, not just now but also into the future.

“That is why we are asking the people and communities of the north and north-east of Scotland to get behind CLAN and give £10 or whatever they can, to allow us to continue offering these vital, professional cancer support services.”

CLAN also has centres in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Banchory, Crimond, Elgin, Inverurie and Kirkwall.

The CLAN Haven in Aberdeen, which is often used for accommodation by people from the Northern Isles during cancer treatment on the mainland, temporarily closed recently to ensure social distancing measures are in place.