Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust has been helping cancer patients across Lanarkshire for two decades. It started in 1988 with the ambition to provide a means of transport for people fighting the disease who don’t have their own vehicle or who couldn’t cope with ambulance journeys.
Thousands of patients have since benefited from this free service, powered by a committed band of volunteer drivers. Presently, there are 96 of them who give their time and vehicles free of charge to the cause. The funds are mainly used to repay these volunteers for their fuel costs, which amounts to around £4000 per week.
Around 15% of its funding comes from annual grants from the NHS, South Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire councils. The remaining 85% is raised by the patients and the public through donations, a monthly lottery and the celebration of fundraising events.
“We have two fundraising events planned at the moment, but more being planned”, says Margaret Wragg, service manager for Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust. “We have a Christmas Party/Disco planned for Saturday the 1st of December at 10am, it will be held in Wrangholm Bowling Club”. This will include “games, balloon modelling, glitter tattoos, visit from Santa, lunch and a selection box for each child”, adds Margaret. There will also be a buffet lunch for accompanying adults. Tickets can be purchased at their office in Wishaw Main Street at a cost of £10.
In addition, they are organising a car rally in March and a Ladies Day on the 28th of April, with more details to follow. Apart from the volunteer drivers, Margaret says that they would like “to have a group of volunteers that we could call on when we were organising events”, so anyone interested in this can get in touch with Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust on the details below or popping into their office.
Despite the above, the biggest challenge Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust faces is not fundraising or recruiting volunteers. “The major challenge that we face as a Trust is highlighting our service to cancer patients who would greatly benefit from our free service”, claims Margaret.
The move from Caledonian Road to Main Street in Wishaw has surely contributed in making the charity more accessible and visible to the wider community. Any additional publicity to make Lanarkshire Cancer Care Trust visible to people affected by the disease would be greatly appreciated, as it can make a real change on how these patients cope with their hospital visits, taking part of the burden off them in terms of getting there (see testimonials here).