Doncaster cancer charity needs donations to survive after the pandemic hit funding

A Doncaster charity that lost its funding hopes to raise funds to continue its vital service to the community.

By Laura Andrew
Thursday, 9th July 2020, 3:04 pm

Ian Bacchus, director of Firefly, a cancer charity based in Doncaster, says all of the funding they received stopped when the lockdown started in March.

He said: “We really struggled when the funding stopped. With the added costs of PPE, it’s been hard.”

Firefly drives cancer patients to their appointments free of charge.

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It works across Doncaster and will drive patients to hospitals in Sheffield.

Usually, it has 71 volunteer drivers, many from police or military backgrounds. But due to Covid-19 only 15 were able to work as many had to shield or self-isolate.

“We have had to introduce social distancing which means we can only have a maximum of three people in a van instead of seven,” Ian said.

“The charity has worked throughout the pandemic but our numbers have dropped to helping around 30 people a day.

Firefly encourages patients to bring a ‘plus one’ with them but this has also been reduced due to coronavirus.

The aim of the charity is to alleviate stress from cancer patients on their route to hospital appointments.

Ian said: “We want to take the stress away from these people.

“It can be costly to travel to the hospital and that can be an added stress for people.

“Our drivers are great at talking and listening and have a lot of empathy for the people they are driving.”

“A second spike would be a big problem and we will be watching November and December very closely to see what happens,” he continued.

“I want to personally give a massive thanks to anyone who has donated in the last three months.

“Without donations, we would not be able to operate in the way we do.”

The charity is accepting donations through its website here.

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