Chat to us
Benji

Fight Club

April 2021

Emma and Merryn here!

“You may have seen us before. We starred in the CLIC Sargent Christmas campaign. The messages of hope supporters like you wrote to us last December meant so much – thank you!

“Now we’ve been given the chance to be guest editors of Fight Club! We really enjoy helping out and giving back to an amazing charity that has supported us so much.

“This February marked one year since Merryn finished chemotherapy. Clinic visits are still a regular occurrence and she has scans every three months. We have one coming up, so anxiety is high. Any change in behaviour or mood swing makes the hairs on the back of our necks stick up and makes us worry that the tumour is back. I’m not sure if these feelings will ever disappear but we try to stay positive.

“CLIC Sargent wouldn’t exist without people like you and we cannot thank you enough for the love you showed us this Christmas. This magazine shows just some of the ways in which your kindness makes a huge difference to families like ours. Thank you!”

Merryn was diagnosed with a brain tumour at five years old.
Merryn was diagnosed with a brain tumour at five years old

You made Christmas magic happen.

Together you raised an almighty £210,000 (and counting) to support children with cancer like Merryn!

Fighting to be heard

Thanks to amazing supporters like you, CLIC Sargent was able to support Helen after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

Today, she’s studying for a degree in psychology and community work. She wants to become a social worker and support children with cancer and their families.

Helen’s mission to help young people like her doesn’t stop with her career choice. Recently she’s been busy campaigning for young cancer patients, making sure their voices are heard.

“Last July I saw #TweetYourMP trending on Twitter; charities were calling for financial support from the government during the pandemic. After hearing that CLIC Sargent would not receive any emergency funding, I decided to tweet and write to my own MP, Boris Johnson, and urge him to support CLIC Sargent’s work in this difficult time.

“I wasn’t going to give up, I worked with the CLIC Sargent team to keep the pressure on, and it worked! In November, I was proud to attend a video meeting with Boris Johnson himself!

“I was so nervous the night before the big day. But knowing the importance of what we were going to be discussing really settled my nerves. We had a job
to do.

“Together with CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Rachel Kirby-Rider, we explained the impact the lack of funding was having and what it meant for young cancer patients. We discussed the incredible social workers providing front-line care, even during the pandemic. The meeting went really well; we were offered a second meeting with cancer minister Jo Churchill in December.

“It’s given me hope that we can work together to help all young people with cancer. I’ll keep you posted!”

To stay up to date with our campaigning and to get involved, click here.

Fighting to be heard

Thanks to amazing supporters like you, CLIC Sargent was able to support Helen after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

Today, she’s studying for a degree in psychology and community work. She wants to become a social worker and support children with cancer and their families.

Helen’s mission to help young people like her doesn’t stop with her career choice. Recently she’s been busy campaigning for young cancer patients, making sure their voices are heard.

“Last July I saw #TweetYourMP trending on Twitter; charities were calling for financial support from the government during the pandemic. After hearing that CLIC Sargent would not receive any emergency funding, I decided to tweet and write to my own MP, Boris Johnson, and urge him to support CLIC Sargent’s work in this difficult time.

“I wasn’t going to give up, I worked with the CLIC Sargent team to keep the pressure on, and it worked! In November, I was proud to attend a video meeting with Boris Johnson himself!

“I was so nervous the night before the big day. But knowing the importance of what we were going to be discussing really settled my nerves. We had a job
to do.

“Together with CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Rachel Kirby-Rider, we explained the impact the lack of funding was having and what it meant for young cancer patients. We discussed the incredible social workers providing front-line care, even during the pandemic. The meeting went really well; we were offered a second meeting with cancer minister Jo Churchill in December.

“It’s given me hope that we can work together to help all young people with cancer. I’ll keep you posted!”

To stay up to date with our campaigning and to get involved, click here.

Back on Track


Two out of three young people you support worry about the impact cancer is having on their education. 

That’s why together with Societe Generale, we launched the ‘Thrive Not Just Survive’ grant. It’s designed to help young people get their education and work ambitions back on track, when cancer’s put their life on hold.

At 22, Shellbie graduated from university and became a mum for the first time. About to embark on a career as a police detective, it was then she found out she had breast cancer. She had to re-evaluate her future. Having cancer pointed her down a new road.

“During my cancer treatment I lost my eyebrows – and my confidence. I began to research microblading, a long-lasting beauty treatment which recreates eyebrows. I just wanted to feel normal and look like myself. It helped me regain some sense of normality.”

When Shellbie started to feel better, her CLIC Sargent Social Worker Zoe told her about the ‘Thrive Not Just Survive’ scheme. She applied and received a £1,600 grant! She knew instantly what she would spend the money on.

“I’d been thinking about doing a microblading course to help other young people with cancer, but after putting myself through university and sorting out a house, I just couldn’t afford it.

“When I heard I got the grant I was so overwhelmed! It was such a breath of fresh air after treatment and I was so keen to get back into work and start earning money for me and my daughter. I now have confidence going forward, whatever the future may hold.”

Since the project started back in 2018, over 200 Thrive Not Just Survive grants have been awarded. That’s a massive £310,000 to help young people get their career goals back on track.

Back on Track


Two out of three young people you support worry about the impact cancer is having on their education. 

That’s why together with Societe Generale, we launched the ‘Thrive Not Just Survive’ grant. It’s designed to help young people get their education and work ambitions back on track, when cancer’s put their life on hold.

At 22, Shellbie graduated from university and became a mum for the first time. About to embark on a career as a police detective, it was then she found out she had breast cancer. She had to re-evaluate her future. Having cancer pointed her down a new road.

“During my cancer treatment I lost my eyebrows – and my confidence. I began to research microblading, a long-lasting beauty treatment which recreates eyebrows. I just wanted to feel normal and look like myself. It helped me regain some sense of normality.”

When Shellbie started to feel better, her CLIC Sargent Social Worker Zoe told her about the ‘Thrive Not Just Survive’ scheme. She applied and received a £1,600 grant! She knew instantly what she would spend the money on.

“I’d been thinking about doing a microblading course to help other young people with cancer, but after putting myself through university and sorting out a house, I just couldn’t afford it.

“When I heard I got the grant I was so overwhelmed! It was such a breath of fresh air after treatment and I was so keen to get back into work and start earning money for me and my daughter. I now have confidence going forward, whatever the future may hold.”

Since the project started back in 2018, over 200 Thrive Not Just Survive grants have been awarded. That’s a massive £310,000 to help young people get their career goals back on track.

A Circle of Support

At 16, Dionne’s son Sammy was looking forward to starting college. But before his first day, they found out he had cancer.

Thanks to your support, CLIC Sargent Social Worker Julia was on hand from day one.

“The costs that come with cancer are overwhelming and Julia really helped us financially. She got Sammy a phone so he could keep in touch with his friends throughout treatment, and when our boiler and washing machine broke, she helped
us get them fixed.

“This wasn’t long after Sammy was diagnosed and I just couldn’t focus on anything other than him. Julia was such a godsend.”

When Sammy got better, Dionne wanted to make sure every family facing cancer had someone like Julia by their side.

“We’d been putting off writing our Will for years but when I saw an ad from CLIC Sargent about writing a Will for free I said, ‘right, let’s just do it.’ We included a gift to CLIC Sargent.

“It’s a relief to know we’ve finally written our Will, and nice to know we will be helping families like ours and kids like Sammy in the future with our gift.”

You can write your Will for free today too by visiting our friends at Farewill. Just click here!

Did you know...

One in eight of the young people we help are supported by the gifts in Wills we receive.

Walking for Emily

When Emily was diagnosed with leukaemia at five weeks old, her grandparents Jenni and Nick didn’t know what to do.

The news was heartbreaking and the pandemic made them feel helpless while their baby granddaughter was receiving treatment miles away from them.

Jenni and Nick decided to take on a fundraising challenge to give them something to focus on and to raise funds to support all families facing cancer like theirs. “I asked my son how they were coping and he said, ‘Mum we just put one foot in front of each other.’ So that’s exactly what we started to do to help,” said Jenni.

In November they started walking 10 miles every day. Once they reached 800 miles, they then decided to challenge themselves more and cover the distance between each of CLIC Sargent’s six Homes from Home across England – an additional 480 miles!

When they virtually reached each Home they donated a gift to help the families staying there. Jenni and Nick say the walking was tough over the bleak winter months. But they knew it was nothing compared to what Emily was going through and they were determined not to give up.

“Emily’s cancer is a day-by-day journey,” Jenni said, “And our walk mirrored that. It wasn’t easy but we reminded ourselves it’s for Emily, and we just kept going. One foot in front of the other.”

Walking for Emily

When Emily was diagnosed with leukaemia at five weeks old, her grandparents Jenni and Nick didn’t know what to do.

The news was heartbreaking and the pandemic made them feel helpless while their baby granddaughter was receiving treatment miles away from them.

Jenni and Nick decided to take on a fundraising challenge to give them something to focus on and to raise funds to support all families facing cancer like theirs. “I asked my son how they were coping and he said, ‘Mum we just put one foot in front of each other.’ So that’s exactly what we started to do to help,” said Jenni.

In November they started walking 10 miles every day. Once they reached 800 miles, they then decided to challenge themselves more and cover the distance between each of CLIC Sargent’s six Homes from Home across England – an additional 480 miles!

When they virtually reached each Home they donated a gift to help the families staying there. Jenni and Nick say the walking was tough over the bleak winter months. But they knew it was nothing compared to what Emily was going through and they were determined not to give up.

“Emily’s cancer is a day-by-day journey,” Jenni said, “And our walk mirrored that. It wasn’t easy but we reminded ourselves it’s for Emily, and we just kept going. One foot in front of the other.”

Light at the end of the tunnel

Just last year, we were talking about how together, over the next five years, we were going to have the biggest impact for families facing cancer. We had our sights set on being there for every family who needs us and improving how we deliver our services.

A lot has happened since then. The pandemic means we’ve taken a huge financial hit, and with every lockdown we’ve lost vital fundraising opportunities. We’ve had to rapidly adapt to make sure families facing cancer can continue to get the help they so desperately need.

What’s kept us going is your support, and not losing sight of what’s most important: young people and families facing cancer. It’s impossible to imagine being told your child has cancer, let alone during a pandemic.

The overwhelming fears over treatment, the crippling financial impact and the constant anxiety of trying to keep a family together are absolutely devastating.

Because of amazing supporters like you, young cancer patients can still get the help they need. And thanks to you, we’re coming out fighting. Together, we’re still going to have the biggest impact we can for families facing cancer.

Here’s how:

We know times have changed, so our plans have too

We’ve adapted our plans to make them relevant for current times.

We're looking directly ahead of us

We’ve made our plans more short term, so we can respond more quickly to changing situations.

We're embracing the tech

We’ve adjusted how we help families, making our support more accessible online so we can reach more people.

With your help, we know we can do our families proud.

We’ve got some exciting projects coming up which will super-charge our ability to build back better and stronger. Watch this space!

Restrictions are easing but for young people facing cancer today and in the future, the impact of coronavirus will be felt for years to come. You can make sure they’re not left to face it alone.

Join our fightDonate