Heart of England Co-op links up with Macmillan to help local cancer patients

• Catherine Evans Heart of England Co-op’s community and charity advisor (centre) is pictured outside the Balsall Common food store with Macmillan volunteers Harry Siggs (second from left), Hayley Parker (third from right) and Alison Cullinane (second from right). Also pictured are Heart of England Co-op customer service assistants Nicholas Shepheard (far left) and Emilia Barlow (far right).

Friday 19th April 2024

The Heart of England Co-operative Society has announced that Macmillan Cancer Support will be its new corporate charity for 2024 and 2025.

The charity received the lion’s share of votes after a shortlist of worthy causes was circulated to more than 700 staff.

Catherine Evans, Heart of England Co-op’s community and charity adviser, said the charity’s work truly resonated with her colleagues.

“Statistics show that one out of every two people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Nobody here needed any convincing that this is a charity which deserves our support.

“Macmillan move mountains to help people with cancer live life as fully as they possibly can, but we know they constantly need support. We are delighted to be able to play our part in that. The funds we raise will help people suffering with cancer in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

To celebrate the new partnership members of staff were encouraged to wear green on the launch day to reflect the organisation’s colours.

Collection tins have been distributed to the Society’s food stores and several in-house fundraising activities have already been arranged, including an Easter raffle, coffee morning, quiz evening and car wash. There will also be a sponsored walk between the Attleborough and Coniston Way Co-op food stores in Nuneaton.

Macmillan relationship fundraising manager Sarah Harker welcomed the link-up with the Heart of England Co-op. She says around 5,000 people living in Coventry and Warwickshire are diagnosed with cancer every year.

“It is vital that these people and their families receive the support they need from Macmillan Cancer Support and have the opportunity to access our services.”

Macmillan has 101 professionals based across the region at the Rigby Centre in Stratford Upon Avon, the Aylesford Unit at Warwick Hospital, George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton and University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire.

“Our Macmillan professionals have been trained in cancer care and specialise in breast, head and neck, neurological, lung, colorectal, gynaecology, haematology and skin cancers to name but a few.

“Macmillan Information and Support Services are based at all of our hospitals where people affected by cancer will find expert advice from our staff and volunteers. From questions about treatment to advice on benefits and finances they are there to help and signpost patients to the right person.

She added: “Our relationship with the Heart of England Co-operative Society will ensure we continue to best support people throughout the whole of their cancer journey and do whatever it takes for everyone affected by cancer.”

In addition to its corporate charity, the Heart of England Co-op donates at least £50,000 a year to community groups as part of its Helping Hearts awards scheme. More than £1.2m has been handed out to hundreds of charities and organisations since the project was launched in 2000.

Chief executive Ali Kurji said giving back to local communities was one of the Society’s founding principles when it was first set up in 1832.

“Our link-up with Macmillan to help cancer patients in Coventry and Warwickshire is another example of how we embrace that ethos to this day.

“We are an independent co-operative and not part of one giant national brand as many people assume. Supporting communities in our midst is a key part of what we do, and we will continue to help groups which strive to improve local people’s lives.”