A CANCER charity says it’s never needed the support of people in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area more, as new figures reveal an expected 75% drop in income from its flagship fundraising event.

Last year people in the Kingdom of Fife raised £116,800 by taking part in a Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning, to fund its vital services including Macmillan nurses and patient grants.

This area has always been strong supporters of Macmillan as many families have benefitted from the support it offers.

This year, figures show the number of people planning to hold a Coffee Morning across Scotland has fallen by a staggering 75% through the Covid crisis, leading to the charity worrying there will be an equivalent fall in money raised.

The picture is similar across the UK, with early figures showing sign-ups are down by around two-thirds (68%). The £27.5m raised in 2019 is expected to fall to under £8m this year.

The charity fears its supporters don’t realise the event is still going ahead – albeit in a new virtual or socially distanced format – and is urging people to find out about the new ways to take part.

Macmillan’s Janice Preston said: “There has never been a more terrifying time in recent history to receive a cancer diagnosis with disruption and delays to treatment and fears of increased risk of becoming infected with coronavirus.

“A huge 98% of Macmillan’s income is from donations and events like Coffee Morning. While Coffee Morning can’t take place in exactly the same way as before this year, there are still lots of ways to get involved.

“At Macmillan we’re facing a possible tsunami of demand coming towards us this autumn, as the cancer system gets moving again and the backlog of delayed diagnoses begins to be dealt with. Worryingly this increased need for support would come at a time when our fundraised income has dropped significantly.

“We’re facing the hardest year in our 109-year history. It’s no exaggeration to say Macmillan and people with cancer have never needed the public’s help more than we do right now.”

Macmillan funds several services in Fife, including the Improving the Cancer Journey service which continued supporting people virtually throughout lockdown.

Jo Dunlop, Link Worker at the Macmillan Fife ICJ service, said “People living with cancer don’t know where to turn right now. "Over the last six months we’ve been hearing from many people living with cancer in Fife who are feel anxious and alone. We give them a chance to talk about what's concerning them and offer support and advice to help make their experience with cancer that little bit easier.”

Macmillan is encouraging people to take part in this year’s Coffee Morning, however it suits them, from having a socially distanced Coffee Morning safely from their doorstep, to setting up a virtual Coffee Morning online.

Those who prefer to take part in more active fundraising events can also sign up for the first ever Coffee Morning Challenge, tackling a run, walk or cycle to raise cash.