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Master Cutler’s Challenge defies pandemic to raise six-figure sum

Organisations from across the Sheffield City Region were commended for defying unique difficulties posed by the pandemic to raise more than £100,000 through our 2020-21 Master Cutler’s Challenge.

“Without the support of Weston Park Cancer Charity, a difficult time would have been even more challenging. We couldn’t do what we do without the charity’s support.”

Those were the words of Weston Park Cancer Charity Trustee and Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Patricia Fisher, after organisations from across the Sheffield City Region were commended for defying unique difficulties posed by the pandemic to raise more than £100,000 through our 2020-21 Master Cutler’s Challenge.

We’re grateful and proud of the tireless, innovative support by organisations across the region to help raise the impressive sum of £107,335.76 (to date), despite most of the Challenge being heavily impacted by Covid-19 and associated lockdowns.

For the first time in history, the Challenge was even extended by a year due to the pandemic, to allow more fundraising to take place.

But participants in the Challenge defied the countless obstacles to make a real difference to our objective of caring in every sense for the one in two people diagnosed with cancer, and their loved ones.

The unwavering support of Master Cutler, Nick Williams, also played a huge role in the Challenge’s success in adversity – having stood by our side through a period which has tested us all like no other.

Organisations gathered at the Challenge’s closing ceremony at Sheffield’s prestigious Cutler’s Hall as the Master Cutler joined charity directors and trustees in thanking supporters for their incredible support in a year which saw a huge fall in our income – making funds raised by the Challenge all the more crucial.

Master Cutler Nick Williams said: “Back in spring 2020, none of us knew what was around the corner, how our lives would change. And that is the same if you or a loved one is told they have cancer.

“At the beginning of last year, I set businesses across Sheffield a challenge of seeing who can raise money in creative, innovative and fantastic ways for Weston Park. None of us could have foreseen what was to come, but despite all the obvious challenges it has been a tremendous 19 months.

“Weston Park has always been close to my heart, and it’s grown ever closer through the Challenge – the charity’s work is absolutely vital. It is part of the fabric of this city. Thank you to everybody who has contributed to a Master Cutler’s Challenge like no other.

Patricia Fisher, who in addition to her role as a Trustee of Weston Park Cancer Charity, is also Clinical Director of South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire Cancer Alliance, explained the difference which funds raised by the challenge will make to people living with and beyond cancer.

Patricia said: “Without the support of Weston Park Cancer Charity, a difficult time would have been even more challenging. We couldn’t do what we do without the charity’s support.

“It means an awful lot to us all – the charity underpins everything we do. It has done so much for us in the last 18 months by supporting staff and patients both practically and emotionally; it launched a Chesterfield transport service to get patients where they need to be, when they need to be there, but also to provide crucial peer support during a time when it was hard to come by.

“As we move forward out of the pandemic, the charity’s support is going to be invaluable. With more people being diagnosed with cancer later due to the drop in referrals and diagnoses caused by the pandemic, the need for research into better treatment and care is heightened – something Weston Park Cancer Charity helps enable.

“We know that however difficult times are now, we will need to step up even further to meet increased demand – and having the charity by our side during that time will play a huge role in helping us deliver that work.”

Cat Rhone, our Director of Fundraising and Marketing, said: “We have all been blown away by the support which our Master Cutler’s Challenge has had over the last 18 months.

“Fundraising like this, even at the most challenging of times, means our support team can keep helping people affected by cancer; we can keep running our transport service; and we can keep supporting research which helps advance treatments and care.

“None of this would have happened without the tireless and innovative fundraising by businesses and communities, and none of it would have happened without the Master Cutler – who has backed us immeasurably even when faced with his own challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Although the Challenge is ending, our commitment to caring in every sense for people affected by cancer will continue. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in its success.”

For more information or to speak to a member of our team, call our Helpline – 0114 553 3330.

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