Cancer charity ‘determined to survive’ for patients as it prepares to cut 30 staff

Penny Brohn UK will look to make around 30 staff members redundant due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Penny Brohn UK will look to make around 30 staff members redundant due to the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: Penny Brohn UK

A cancer charity based in Pill is expected to lose a third of staff due to a £750,000 shortfall brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Penny Brohn centre in Pill has been closed since March and is not expected to reopen until 2021.

The Penny Brohn centre in Pill has been closed since March and is not expected to reopen until 2021. - Credit: Penny Brohn UK

Penny Brohn UK, in Chapel Pill Lane, employs 85 core staff members, but 30 people could be made redundant as part of a restructuring programme to protect front-line services.

Brand and marketing director, Tracy Trait said: “We are determined to survive and continue offering support to those who need us now more than ever.”

Penny Brohn will continue the Stomp fundraiser in October.

Penny Brohn will continue the Stomp fundraiser in October. - Credit: Penny Brohn UK

The charity needs to raise £2.5million a year to run its vital services but after cancelling many of its fundraisers it ‘can not afford to think only in the short-term’.

Staff were told of the changes in July and a consultation is now underway.


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Andrew Hufford, commercial director of Penny Brohn UK said: “It was a heart-breaking decision to start the change consultation with staff.

“We planned great things for our 40th year. However, the reality is that we will have to operate with, potentially, much less staff to ensure we protect direct services for people with cancer.”

MORE: Penny Brohn charity ‘in excellent hands’ with new bossHe added: “Alongside excellent medical treatment, people need more than medicine to cope with the emotional and psychological impact of cancer.

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“It is therefore essential that we refocus our limited resources into providing holistic support that is accessible to anyone who needs it now, and at the same time put ourselves in the best position to seek out opportunities to grow back stronger than ever.”

In March, 80 per cent of its staff were furloughed and the centre was closed, while cancer support services were moved online.

Penny Brohn said it is ‘very unlikely’ it will be able to welcome back cancer patients for face-to-face services until 2021.

Tracy added: “The face-to-face session could not go ahead with the shielding guidelines and other logistics and so were moved online.

“Weekly sessions and talks are available with great reviews as more people have been able to tune in from their beds and homes.

“The charity has completed a risk assessment at the Pill centre but it would be too expensive to maintain safety measures and the recent government guidelines prevent us from running corporate events that could recoup some finances.”

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