17 February 2022
This time last year - 12 months into the pandemic - I wrote that while there was reason for optimism in 2021, it promised to be just as challenging, albeit it in different ways to 2020. To stay on course with our Ambitions, the Trust has had to adapt, innovate, and transform in ways never explored before.
In 2021, things could not have turned out more positively, as we supported 315 young people again, getting #BackOnBoard in a COVID-safe way. To do this, we had to be creative and deliver our activities in new ways, including taking the Trust on tour and running 22 one-off regional Taste of the Trust days at nine UK locations.
I could not be prouder of our team for their commitment to, and passion for, delivering this unique programme so young people – impacted by the isolation and anxiety caused by COVID - could get the support they had badly missed in 2020.
I am delighted to share this update on our Ambitions 2020-22; an overview of what has been achieved over the past two years, as our bold approach to keep investing in and growing the charity through the most challenging period in our 19-year history has seen remarkable progress made.
CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE UPDATE
Achievements such as digitalising our trip recruitment processes to effectively manage more young people, getting income diversification projects underway to support sustainable future growth, introducing new tools to better measure and understand our impact, and realigning our brand to a new purpose – ‘Believe in a brighter future’ – are all genuine gamechangers that will not only keep our Ambitions 2020-22 on course in their final year, but way beyond.
A new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion project is also underway, and this year we will undertake a review of our three iconic Trust-owned yachts, so they are fit for purpose to continue playing their immeasurable role in getting more young people afloat, and visually raising the Trust’s profile while out on the water.
Of course, nothing is ever perfect, and the pandemic has inevitably affected the number of young people we had hope to welcome to the Trust in the past two years. But we are optimistic this summer, 600+ young people – the number supported in the year before COVID - will benefit from Trust support again.
Our business plan for 2023-25 is well underway, underpinned by much of what has been achieved in 2020-22. These Ambitions 2023-25 will be launched this time next year, and the ‘how we will do it’ is now being worked through.
But we expect these Ambitions to include aims to be fully representative of and accessible to all young people who have a cancer diagnosis in the UK, increase the number of young people supported from our pre-COVID level of 650, increase our wellbeing and psychological support for young people living through and beyond cancer; and support young people as they transition through education and/or into employment through mentoring and peer-to-peer support.
Our Ambitions 2020-22 have enabled the Trust to weather the COVID storm in good shape so far. Now we must set a new course that allows us to grow and expand our reach and impact, so more young people can believe in a brighter future living through and beyond cancer.