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What now?

Our strategy for 2021-23

In February 2020 we published an ambitious, five-year strategy. A lot has happened since then. This new strategy is our response.

At its centre are three critical goals for the next two years:

  1. Reach more of the people who need us
  2. Focus on needs – equity, consistency, impact
  3. Secure sustainable growth for the future

Read more below…

Our purpose, ambition and beliefs

We exist because no family should have to face cancer alone. Everything we do will be led by this purpose. And it sets out our ambition that no family will face cancer alone.

We believe:

  • Everyone impacted by cancer in children and young people should get the support they need
  • Cancer is scary enough, everything that follows shouldn’t be
  • Cancer in children and young people shouldn’t cause ongoing damage. The treatment is bad enough. Children and young people should thrive, not just survive.

Our purpose, ambition and beliefs

We exist because no family should have to face cancer alone. Everything we do will be led by this purpose. And it sets out our ambition that no family will face cancer alone.

We believe:

  • Everyone impacted by cancer in children and young people should get the support they need
  • Cancer is scary enough, everything that follows shouldn’t be
  • Cancer in children and young people shouldn’t cause ongoing damage. The treatment is bad enough. Children and young people should thrive, not just survive.

Our purpose is underpinned by our ‘driving force’, which in turn underpins the choices we make every day.

Our driving force

Every child and young person dreams about their future. Every parent wants the best for their child. But having cancer means they often face huge inequalities their whole lives. They deserve more.

We believe children and young people with cancer and their families should have the same opportunities as anyone else. And we know that specialist, high quality and empowering support during cancer treatment has a lasting impact, creating a better future for children and young people.

They need:

  • Support which is easy to access and meets their own individual needs
  • To be heard – having a voice, and a team that will advocate to make sure the whole ‘system’ supporting children and young people works better for them
  • Every organisation supporting children and young people to work together towards one clear goal: playing to their strengths to reduce the impact of cancer and shrinking the opportunity gap.

Together, we must be a growing, thriving organisation, focused on making the biggest difference we can.

Our strategic goals

These are the critical goals for the next two years if we are to recover well from Covid-19 and make progress towards our ambition.

Our strategic goals

These are the critical goals for the next two years if we are to recover well from Covid-19 and make progress towards our ambition.

1

Reach more of the people who need us

  • We will implement a new social care service model that is engaging, impactful and accessible for people no matter where they live or receive treatment. This will incorporate a new Central Support and Social Care Team and refreshed digital content on our website and channels
  • We will focus next on getting our brand and offer out there so people know about us and how to access our support – through building partnerships and improving search engine optimisation
  • We will make our offer engaging from the outset, so families want to support us too.

Measures

  • We will review diagnosis rates and how effective we are at reaching those who need us
  • We will better understand the experience of those accessing our support
  • Through this we will determine how far we can get without further investment, and what the remaining challenge is to reach all the people who need us in the future.
2

Focus on needs – equity, consistency, impact

  • We will speak loudly and influence the system so it works better for children and young people – partnering with others in radical new ways to deliver better outcomes and opportunities, campaigning for policy change, and getting children, young people and parents a seat at the table
  • We will implement a new social care service model that sustains our impact and is more consistent and equitable. This means that all children and young people will have the right to access a consistent offer of support from Young Lives vs Cancer that better reflects their assessed needs. We will understand the needs of minority groups and we’ll challenge ourselves to deliver on these as well as we do for others.

Measures

  • We will do continued research on our impact, and better understand the impact of the wider external environment on children and young people.
  • We will create better insight into the services we provide.

Secure sustainable growth for the future

  • We will encourage our supporters to stay longer by providing a good experience and creating a stronger emotional connection to the charity
  • We will be well-positioned for growth:
    • with clear and compelling propositions, messaging and a name that tells people what we do and who we’re for: Young Lives vs Cancer
    • taking new opportunities, innovating with new products and income routes.

Measures

  • Retention of income and supporters
  • Attracting new supporters
  • Improved return on investment driven by new messaging
  • Number of new ideas tested
  • Diversity and balance of income portfolio.

What will it take to achieve this? Our people, places, and systems

  • Making deliberate choices in 2021 about how we want to develop as an employer through the next phase of the pandemic and into a post-Covid world, to represent our values
  • Transforming the quality and availability of data and insight so we can make better and quicker decisions, and better understand long-term impact with service user families
  • Maintaining steady investment in vital systems to deliver this and ensure ongoing resilience in cyber security
  • Continued commitment to continuous improvement
  • An open and innovative approach to partnerships and collaboration.

Our culture and values

Our values and our strategy go hand in hand. The goals tell us what we want to achieve. And our values tell us how. The following is how we’ll demonstrate our values in our behaviour, so we can thrive in the next two years. And, as always, our four values are intersectional.

Bravery

Transparency and accountability

We will be open about how we work, what we achieve and the challenges we face. We will make it eas(ier) for beneficiaries and supporters to hold us to account.

Challenge and candour

We will have the right conversations at the right time, and they will be real and authentic. We will be quicker than we are now to challenge each other, and make sure we hear new and different views.

Integrity

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging

We will start to make active choices and changes to improve our diversity and prioritise equity. We will begin our journey on ensuring that our culture is inclusive of everyone who works, volunteers and interacts with us, the goal being that people will feel like they truly belong here, whoever they are.

Environmental sustainability

We will create a starting point by understanding where we are, our ecological impact and what we need to do to become an environmentally sustainable organisation.

Participation and voice

We will start to work in a more empowering way than we do now, by co-designing and co-producing with our beneficiaries, and we will increase their voice in our governance. We will begin to engage with diverse voices across the UK, and respond to how the cancer experience is changing.

Confidence

A new ambition

We will get everyone behind a new way of communicating the difference we make, generating excitement for what we can achieve. Everyone will be clear about our core purpose, what we need to do and why we are here.

Suited to the now

We will continue to improve on our ability to navigate an uncertain environment; accepting that we won’t know what is just round the corner and adapting to become more flexible and open to changing priorities. Our spending will reflect this, while still being able to innovate in response to what we are seeing externally.

We want to be confident and hopeful about the future: being optimistic about our ability to thrive and to have impact for children, young people and families.

One team

Celebration, resilience and community

We know we make the difference we make with people, so looking after ourselves and others is critical. The resilience and wellbeing of everyone in the Young Lives vs Cancer community will remain of paramount importance.

We will become stronger by building this community, raising up new voices and working together to achieve our goals.

Volunteering

Volunteers will be recognised and equally valued alongside employed colleagues. They will be integrated in the ways in which we deliver care and support for children, young people and families.

Volunteers will be an intentional part of our ambition, structure and workforce, having meaningful impact which will be driven, supported and facilitated by people across the organisation. The voice and expertise of volunteers will be trusted, respected and celebrated.

Overcoming obstacles

We will notice and reduce hierarchy and power dynamics where they are creating barriers for people. We will get information flowing, and continue to make communication as easy as it can be.

We will continue to seek external collaboration and partnerships recognising that there is so much we could achieve if we had more and stronger partnerships and we will take those opportunities.

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