Macmillan CEO says 300 redundancy announcement is “darkest day of my career”

Macmillan Cancer Support is considering more than 300 redundancies to meet Covid-19 income losses.

The charity’s chief executive Lynda Thomas said that “despite the determination and commitment of our fundraising teams” its voluntary income could fall by as much as £175m by the end of 2022.

In a bid to protect its frontline support, including its helpline and nursing care, the charity is to start a consultation on 5 October proposing 310 redundancies.

“Our people are at the heart of everything we do, but this is the only way we can meet the needs of people living with cancer now and in the future. We are committed to ensuring that this is managed equitably and fairly, and that all impacted colleagues are treated with compassion and care,” said Thomas.

“The past six months have been some of the hardest our organisation has ever faced. To say that today is the darkest day of my career is no exaggeration. I am truly devastated to have to do this, and it is not a decision we have taken lightly.”

The charity has also been hit hard since Covid-19 lockdown by rise in demand for its services, the redeployment of its nurses to support Covid-19 patients and the need to pivot services online. This included the setting up of its Telephone Buddy service, “so that people living with cancer could still talk to us and get help”, added Thomaas.

Other action Macmillan has taken to meet income losses have been to launch its first emergency appeal, called The Forgotten C, which raised £1.5m.

This week it is staging its annual Coffee Morning fundraiser, which has become a virtual event due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The charity estimates that despite a move online the event could see a £20m drop in money raised.

Thomas added: “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our Macmillan employees, professionals, partners, supporters and volunteers across the UK, who’ve worked tirelessly, whilst managing the impact of the crisis on their own lives, to help us maintain our support for over 1.9 million people living with cancer each year.”

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