As mentioned in part 1, charities quickly stepped up to meet the needs of its local communities. They concentrated on the current climate and what that meant for their benefactors. Charities adapted. They started delivering medicines and food supplies to vulnerable groups and added online fitness classes, counselling, and therapy services. These efforts provided a strong community feel, regardless of the use of online platforms, social media, and technology. The human connection was present and at the forefront.
I’d like to take this time to share with you how a local charity, Wessex Cancer Trust implemented new strategies and communication platforms to adapt to the pandemic while still preserving a strong community feel and its core services.
Wessex Cancer Trust maintains a strong community feel, regardless of the coronavirus
It was a privilege to attend the Wessex Cancer online CommuniTEA celebration this month and hear the insights from trustees, workers, volunteers regarding the important role the centre plays in the lives of those who need it.
The open and honest accounts from those receiving care and support certainly brought tears to my eyes. However, it was also very heart warming to hear how they found a sense of solace and wellbeing. They found a safe place they could be themselves. A place they can express their worries and fears without judgement while receiving care, love and support, in return.
The charity also provides a support network for friends and family who often struggle with the diagnosis and how to respond best. At first, clients and their loved one’s often feel lost and consumed in the turmoil of constantly wanting to be strong for everyone else. Not letting their true feelings and fears be expressed. But, slowly, these negative and anxious emotions transform into a reassuring feeling of being found, supported and protected. This powerful result is solely possible by the many activities and rich expertise available from Wessex Cancer Trust. The non-profit provides a sense of purpose, routine, and community. The charity empowers, shifts, educates, and cares. Sometimes, that is all its supporters need.
Wessex Cancer Trust embraces telephone and online services during the pandemic
During lockdown, Wessex Cancer Trust has supported over 1000 people living with cancer through telephone and online services. These online services provide advice, psychological counselling, and wellbeing support. In addition, the charity maintains it’s core social aspect with regular coffee mornings online, quizzes and bingo to name a few!
The way forward for charities during a post-coronavirus world is one of collaboration
For charities, working with a network of other charity and corporate organisations is a way to increase public knowledge and improve audience reach. It is how your charity can inspire innovation, create new approaches, and supply effective solutions. Wessex Cancer Trust understands this effective partnership messaging so they are collaborating with local hospitals, cancer support groups, Macmillan Cancer Support, and a few travel organisations to help get residents safe travel to and from cancer treatment during the coronavirus.
“We have seen the national trend of cancer patients travelling less for treatment due to the COVID-19 crisis and wanted to make sure that Isle of Wight residents know they can safely travel safely and meet up with the Daisy Bus in Southsea.” Loretta Lale, Hovertravel
Wessex Cancer Trust and Hovertravel are working together to continue to provide their Daisy Bus service in Portsmouth and Southampton from terminal to hospital. Furthermore, they are collaborating with Red Funnel to offer subsidised travel for Isle of Wight patients to ferry across the Solent for treatment.
Wessex Cancer Trust understands the complexity of COVID-19 and what it means to the people they help and support. So they found valuable ways to meet these needs via technology and building solid collaborations with other organisations. The messaging and branding was amended to match these latest charity services.
Your charity may find itself in the same position, offering revolutionary services and updated practices that did not exist before. Get the word out to your benefactors, supporters, team, organisation, and the public via new branding and messaging. People will remain unaware of your services unless you tell them about it.
Image: Markus Spiske | Unsplash