Social enterprise supports Cancer Research UK to boost Covid-19 funding loss

Spectrum Community Health CIC, one of the first health social enterprises to spin out of the NHS, has partnered with Cancer Research UK in a move that should hopefully help the charity to claw back what it estimates is a multi-million-pound shortfall in donations due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

As part of its Charity of the Year initiative, Spectrum’s Chief Executive, Dr Linda Harris OBE will be attempting to climb ‘10 Peaks in 10 Days’ starting on Friday 18th June. The strenuous challenge will see Dr Harris traverse ten of the highest peaks in the Lake District in a bid to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. The charity said in December 2020 that it would have to cut its research support by some £45m due to the massive loss in its own funding.

Spectrum provides professional health services for the NHS and Public Health across a portfolio of community-based services in sexual health, health and justice and substance misuse across the North of England. This year, it celebrates its ten-year anniversary, and is committed to annually contributing a minimum of 10% of any surplus monies it generates to good causes. Through a range of incentives and campaigns in the last decade, Spectrum has raised an estimated £1.1 million for charity.

As well as setting herself a £5,000 fundraising target, Dr Harris, alongside a number of supporters including staff, public health and NHS England colleagues, has opened the 10 peaks challenge to members of the public.

Each of the ten walks are challenging in their own right with many requiring steep climbs over rocks, in particular Great Gable, Scafell Pike and Helvellyn.

Dr Harris, CEO at Spectrum Community Health CIC, said: “I’m spurred on not only by the fact that this organisation has lost far too many of its respected and much-loved friends and colleagues to cancer over the years, but also this worrying shortfall in its funding. Cancer Care is an integral part of the services we deliver here at Spectrum and we all need to do what we can to help, so I hope many will join me in the Lake District in fundraising for Cancer Research UK.”

She added: “This challenge will help to promote our fantastic ten-year campaign and work anniversary. Those who know me know I’m not fit, however I wanted to help shine some much-needed positivity following the worrying last 12 months and do our bit to get the charity’s fundraising efforts back on track.

“The walk is open to everyone and anyone – plus I’ll need lots of help and encouragement! It’s a fantastic way to raise funds, to get more physically active and explore some of England’s most scenic countryside.”

Kathryn Leverett, Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research UK, said: “One in two people now survive their cancer for 10 years or more in the UK, but there is still so much more to be done. Our ambition at Cancer Research UK is to accelerate progress in cancer research and see three in four people survive the next 20 years but we need huge support to make this happen.

“The support from Spectrum Community Health CIC is hugely important to us and the commitment to raising money for life-saving research is fantastic. Good luck to Dr Linda Harris OBE and everyone supporting this amazing challenge. “  

Over the past decade, Spectrum has helped over 400,000 individuals. In that time, it has been shortlisted for over 50 national healthcare awards, winning 21, and expanded its portfolio of services into sexual health, health and justice, and wellbeing. Most recently, it has successfully partnered to deliver one of the country’s COVID-19 large scale community vaccination centres.

Those interested can register for one or all of the peaks by completing the following form:

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