British celebrities launch Macmillan Cancer appeal as income drops 50%

Naomie Harris, Fearne Cotton, Martin Clunes and Maxine Peake launch emergency fundraising appeal for Macmillan Cancer Support as it faces 50% drop in income amid coronavirus crisis

  • Johnny Vegas, Larry Lamb and Kimberley Walsh also appeared in the video
  • Macmillan is losing out as shops close and events cancel in lockdown
  • Rishi Sunak announced £750million in support for the charity sector on April 8
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Celebrities including Naomie Harris, Fearne Cotton and Martin Clunes have launched an emergency appeal for Macmillan as it expects a 50 per cent fall in income.  

The stars appeared in a video urging people to donate to the cancer charity, which has suffered a large drop in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Comedians Johnny Vegas and Joe Lycett, actors Larry Lamb and Maxine Peake, and singer Kimberley Walsh also appeared in the video.

The charity said that hundreds of its Macmillan Cancer Support service’s nurses are being called on to help with the response to coronavirus. 

Actress Naomie Harris, 43, appears in a video appeal for Macmillan Cancer Support as the UK charity faces a 50 per cent drop in income amid coronavirus crisis

Television presenter Fearne Cotton, 38, also takes part in the appeal, urging viewers to imagine cancer patients’ hardship when treatment is changed, postponed or cancelled

Naomie Harris begins the appeal, telling viewers to imagine ‘hearing those dreaded words’ that they have cancer, without anyone to hug them.

Martin Clunes continues the theme, imagining ‘having to go through the ordeal of cancer treatment on your own’.

Fearne Cotton raises the issue of having treatment changed, postponed or cancelled during the crisis.

Larry Lamb says the charity are doing ‘everything we can to help cancer patients in desperate need’. 

Actor Martin Clunes, 58, urges viewers to donate to the charity which is suffering from an income fall after charity shops were closed and fundraising events cancelled during lockdown

Actress Maxine Peake, 45, says cancer is ‘scary enough’ without having to fear having a lower immune system during the coronavirus pandemic

Comedian Johnny Vegas, 49, also appears in the video. The comedian lost his father to bladder cancer last year and he says he has seen ‘first-hand how Macmillan Cancer Support makes a world of difference to people in their darkest hours’

Johnny Vegas said: ‘My family and I have seen first-hand how Macmillan Cancer Support makes a world of difference to people in their darkest hours.

‘Right now Macmillan needs all the help it can get to continue to be there for everyone who needs them and support our beloved NHS at this critical time.’

The Macmillan support line has seen a 1,600 per cent increase in calls during March and by the end of the month one in three calls were about coronavirus.

Lynda Thomas, Macmillan Cancer Support CEO, said: ‘Our professionals are playing a critical role right now in helping to deal with this unprecedented crisis.

Macmillan’s emergency appeal pleads for people to help those living with cancer during the pandemic.

‘We have a long and proud history of working shoulder to shoulder with the NHS which is why we are investing funds to help alleviate some of the strain on NHS services.

‘But it is critical we don’t forget that people continue to be diagnosed with cancer each day and still need vital treatment and support.

‘For people with cancer right now, these can be terrifying times; isolating at home, separated from loved ones and suddenly being told the treatment and surgery that had felt like their lifeline could be changed or postponed.

‘But their cancer hasn’t. That’s still there, while they wait for answers about what their future holds.’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750million package to support for the charity sector on April 8

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750million package to support for the charity sector on April 8.

The plan gives £370million to small, local charities working with vulnerable people, provided through organisations like the National Lottery Communities Fund in England.

The UK government will also provide £360 million directly to charities providing essential services and supporting vulnerable people.

This includes up to £200million going to hospices with the rest going to organisations like St Johns’ Ambulance and Citizens Advice Bureau. 

Oxfam has been forced to shut around 600 UK charity shops, which raised £17.3 million last year (stock image)

St John Ambulance could go bust in August, its chief executive admitted (stock image)

Sunak said: ‘There are nearly 170,000 charities in this country and the truth is that we will not be able to match every pound of funding they would have received this year.’ 

Earlier in March, charity sector bosses predicted £4billion losses as social distancing measures shut charity shops and canceled sponsored events.

This includes the London Marathon, which was supposed to have taken place yesterday but has been postponed until November. 

Cancer Research UK announced it would have to drastically scale back its research plans, expecting an income loss of around £120million, a quarter of its revenue.

Yesterday, lonely joggers took to the streets in Britain’s capital city on the day of what would have been the London Marathon. The charity sector is expected to lose £4billion in total due to closed shops and cancelled events during the coronavirus lockdown

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: ‘There can be no doubt that this global pandemic is going to cause huge strain on charities in the coming months. 

‘People affected by cancer will be facing difficult situations because they are particularly vulnerable, or because their treatment is being affected by the knock-on impact in the health service, and our priority is making sure we can support them during these unprecedented times. 

‘While many things are still uncertain, it is clear that Cancer Research UK will be hit hard. 

‘We remain tirelessly committed to making progress for people affected by cancer, but now more than ever, support from both the Government and the public will be vital.’ 

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