I finally realise that "body confidence" theme is BCC's theme for pink October for all bc, and the secondary day is falling within that... see this month's Woman & Home,,,
The full article in print features 6 women with their individual stories, beautifully presented, but I was disappointed that none of the 6 scenarios seems to include secondary metastases....
Many thanks to all of you for your feedback and comments on the Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness day survey. As Diana mentioned above, the survey is now closed and we are busy collating and analysing all of the feedback that we have received from this and other channels of research. Your feedback is invaluable to us and we very much appreciate the time that you have all spent in completing the survey and leaving your thoughts. We will be back in touch with you soon to let you know more as we develop this year’s Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day campaign.
Thanks for your further questions.
Our Vision 2020 sets out what we want to achieve for people affected by breast cancer. To achieve this vision we need to considerably increase and diversify our fundraising income. Currently, 97% of Breast Cancer Care's services are funded from income raised by the general public. But unfortunately, we are overly reliant on it being raised by individuals participating in sometimes expensive and weather dependent events and a handful of loyal companies. Our brand is also naturally aligned to women’s high street corporate supporters – many of whom have struggled in the downturn, some have even gone into administration.
To ensure we can deliver our vision we must diversify our fundraising portfolio to be less reliant on these higher risk activities. For example, in 2010, only 8% of our net income came from more reliable methods e.g. donations by direct debit and we plan to increase this to 33% by 2020. So we are currently investing in more dependable, cheaper forms of fundraising but these methods drive up costs in the short term. Our new database is vital in achieving this and replaces our previous version which was installed in 1996 and no longer fit for purpose.
Our plans are rightly ambitious and we are already seeing the impacts of this change with an increase in income and a reduction in relative costs. But unfortunately until we have a solid platform of more reliable funding streams our services and campaigning activities remain vulnerable and exposed.
With regards to the specific spends on this year’s Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, we agree we could do lot more with increased funds and we hope to gather further funding and sponsorship over the coming years. Overall in 2011/12 Breast Cancer Care spent £874K specifically on secondary breast cancer, as well as additional services that are budgeted to other areas of our work, such as younger women or our nurse training programme, but which were specifically aimed to support and inform around secondary breast cancer to that particular target. As you know, there is still a lot more for us to do and we will continue to increase our work and activity in secondary breast cancer within our plans in order to deliver on our ambitious Vision 2020.
There has been some very important feedback and views expressed on the forums for Breast Cancer Care to listen to. However, we have closed the survey and taken off the “sticky” on this thread and now have some work to do collating feedback. We will get back to you once we have further information.
In the meantime, my very best wishes and thank you,
I am sorry I have taken a little while to respond to your further questions – I have been away from the office and we have been a little understaffed on the forums due to holidays etc.
Over the past few years Breast Cancer Care has carried a deficit, so although our income from donations were, as you correctly say, up on the previous financial year, we were still spending more than we were earning. We have worked hard over the past few years to re-address this balance by reducing expenditure wherever we can without affecting delivery of services or policy and campaigns.
Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day is just one part of Breast Cancer Care’s work for people affected by secondary breast cancer. In a sense it is the public facing and awareness raising side. As with all our work, we have limited budget to spend on marketing and communications - this year £21k is budgeted for Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day and the associated campaign materials and activities. This includes the staff time allocated to plan and deliver the awareness day. We try to be as creative as we can with such limited resources, but we rely heavily, as we do with all our marketing and communications, on press and PR coverage to come from editorial and journalists interested in the case studies and issues that we have raised. We do not have large marketing budgets per se, seeking instead for pro bono or gifts in kind advertising space for all of our marketing communications.
However, it is the Policy and Campaigns team and their work that has a broader remit and a separate budget attached to it, and this is where the majority of our campaigning resources and time are allocated. This is because we have taken the approach that more in-depth research and longer term on-going campaigns achieve more than one off marketing campaigns, although both most certainly play a vital role and contribute to each other’s success.
We have three main areas of policy campaigns that we are prioritising for the near future, the largest and longest running being secondary breast cancer. The other two campaigns are around older women and breast cancer; and body confidence or image following breast cancer (both primary and secondary).
Although it is a small Policy and Campaigns team (3 people), we have an excellent reputation for effecting change (for example we have met with the Prime Minister on two occasions now, which led directly to data on secondary breast cancer being collected). However, change in policy, care and treatment is slow. We have been running the Spotlight Campaign for over 7 years now, and although there have been some really positive steps made; we know that there is still huge amounts to do. Which is why, although we made reductions in our Policy and Campaigns team and admin support, we have not reduced our direct expenditure on any of our work within secondary breast cancer campaigning. Nor have we reduced or cut any of our service delivery – in fact this year we have been able to further invest in our secondary breast cancer services across the country. The Spotlight Campaign has also had a slight increased budget compared to last financial year with a total of £25k allocated to it.
The survey is now closed and we will be looking at all the feedback, both online and offline and considering options for this year’s campaign.
I hope I have answered your questions, but do keep discussing and debating the issue, it is important for us all. In the meantime we will keep you up to date with where we are at both in our campaigning and in the development of this year’s Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day campaign.
And on that note – just to let you know, this afternoon we are off to present the results of our research into the “Experience of People Living with Secondary Breast Cancer” to the All Party Parliamentary Group on breast cancer, we have three Voices attending with us and we are asking the MPs to support our Standards of Care for people with secondary breast cancer. We will report back to you as soon as we can.
With all best wishes,
Director of Services
Thanks for your continuing interest on the this subject and for all your feedback!
A number of you have raised some interesting questions which I will try to answer, but first of all I thought I would explain a little on the background of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day. In 2010 we introduced the day into the UK's breast cancer awareness month (BCAM) following a lot of feedback from our users (both online and offline) about a lack of presence of people living with secondary breast cancer in the awareness raising campaigns. It was initiated originally in America, the same as BCAM, and is now in its fourth year here and is primarily an awareness raising day to improve the understanding and awareness of the needs of people living with secondary breast cancer.
However, importantly, alongside the media and marketing campaigns, as you know we have our longstanding policy campaign - Spotlight on Secondary Breast Cancer - which campaigns to improve the care and support available to people living with secondary breast cancer. I am sorry that the pages on the campaign have not been updated for a while, we are now currently updating them and we will certainly be doing so more regularly.
We are currently calling for:
Since the campaign was started in 2007 by a taskforce of people living with secondary breast cancer, we’ve had many successes, including:
In addition to this, we are currently undertaking an evaluation of the impact the campaign has had to inform our future work – this report will be ready in October 2013 and we will certainly upload it and let you know of what we plan to do next.
With regards to your question Lemongrove about the sponsorship of the day and booklet – unfortunately at this point we still have not had any funding specifically allocated to the day or any of the activity around the day. Therefore we will be using our core funds to support the work.
Finally, just to reiterate that in addition to campaigning and trying to raise awareness around secondary breast cancer we also provide a number of support and information services around the UK, running (15) monthly Living With Secondary Breast Cancer groups, weekly livechats online, and a range of information booklets and resources.
So, as I said earlier – do continue to feedback on the campaign concept, we are listening and reading with interest.
With very best wishes,
Director of Services