'The government’s promise to do ‘whatever it takes’ must include charities'

It is fair to say that we are living through very strange and difficult times.  Since the beginning of last week we have received several emails and calls from patients and carers who are very worried about COVID-19 and what it might mean to them.  

The advice that we have received from our medical advisors is straightforward:  Any concerns must be addressed with the medical team responsible for your care.  

It is no use trying to second guess what might happen next - we must be prepared to take advice from the medics.  A number of patients who are currently undergoing treatment have been advised that they should do the best they can to stay away from anyone who might have been in contact with the virus.  

We know that many of our patients have been contacted with instructions to self isolate.   If you are in this group and just want someone to talk to, please do get in touch.  We are at the end of a phone or a video call. 

In these uncertain times, we fully understand that difficult decisions have to be made.  However, we would ask our supporters to stop and think before cancelling anything that you might have with us, be it our lottery, a direct debit or standing order payment.  We have already seen three large events cancelled and it is likely there will be more.  

As many people know, Melanoma UK does not receive any Government or agency funding.  We rely on the hard work and generosity of our supporters - without them, we could not continue our work.  In the last few years, with the kindness and generosity of many, we have provided support to hundreds of patients and families and equally as important, we have provided equipment to NHS hospitals to enable early detection of melanoma.   We can continue to do this with your help.  

Melanoma UK is a member of the Small Charities Coalition.  This week, along with  hundreds of other small charities, we sent an open letter to our Prime Minister.  Our Government has announced substantial financial measures to support the business sector during this crisis, but sadly, the charity and not-for-profit organisations have been overlooked.  We have over 180,000 registered charities in the UK  and thousands of not-for-profit organisations.  

They are all deserved of help.   Our team is a small but mighty one. We are here for anyone who needs us.   Our helplines remain open, our office will be open until we are instructed otherwise.   We will continue to respond to all our emails and all messages via social media - nothing changes for us: we are here to serve our patients, carers and families.