TV presenter Alison Hammond, Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi and model Twiggy are among the famous faces supporting a campaign to raise money for a leading cancer charity.
The celebrities are encouraging the public to host a coffee morning to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The cancer charity revealed that its flagship fundraiser is facing a £20 million drop in income for the second year running. This could put almost 200,000 cancer patients at risk of missing vital care from the charity’s nurses.
Macmillan has said that nearly 98 per cent of its funding comes from donations, but the number of people signing up to host a coffee morning has dropped by more than three-quarters below average for the second year.
The coffee morning event raised £2.7 million in 2019, while estimates predict that this year’s fundraiser will generate less than a third of that amount.
Despite this lack of funding, the demand for its services is high due to Covid-19 causing disruptions to treatment.
The 110-year-old charity said its free helpline has answered more than 250,000 telephone queries from people affected by cancer since the first national lockdown and received 22% more calls than this time last year.
The charity has now collaborated with 12 celebrities who have been touched by cancer, and many who have experienced Macmillan’s support, to raise awareness and funds.
Among the stars are model Christine McGuinness, whose mum is going through cancer treatment, and Fleabag actor Kadiff Kirwan, whose aunt had cancer – both of whom received the support of a Macmillan nurse.
Former Love Island contestant Shaughna Phillips is also supporting the charity’s campaign after her family was supported by a Macmillan grant when her father, who died of cancer in 2016, was no longer able to work during his treatment.
The other famous faces involved include, broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, broadcaster and activist Samantha Renke, Strictly Come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas, broadcaster Fearne Cotton, Bridgerton actor Martins Imhangbe and Gavin & Stacey star Larry Lamb.
Chief executive officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, Lynda Thomas, said: “Macmillan is working tirelessly to do whatever it takes for people with cancer, many of whom are coping with the disruption caused by Covid-19, but without the support of the public we won’t be able to keep up with the demand for our services.
“It’s worrying for us to see Coffee Morning registrations are currently even lower than last year during Covid restrictions and we want to assure everyone that there are many safe and fun ways to get involved – whether it’s a doorstep cuppa with a neighbour before work, or a family picnic in the park.
“Every penny raised will help fund vital support for people living with cancer, who need Macmillan now more than ever.”
Sign up to host a coffee morning is on the Macmillan Cancer Support website.