FIGHTING TO BE HEARD
Then nothing happened. After the big announcement, charities were left waiting – Young Lives vs Cancer included. Despite constantly asking, we heard nothing.
In stepped badass teen and campaigner Helen, who we’d supported after her cancer diagnosis in 2016. “I decided to tweet and write to my own MP, Boris Johnson (!), and urge him to support Young Lives vs Cancer’s work in the difficult time.
“I wasn’t going to give up, I worked with the team to keep the pressure on. Then in November, I was proud to attend a video meeting with the prime minister himself.”
Despite Helen’s continuous fight, many meetings with MPs, thousands of incredible supporters and NHS partners signing open letters asking for government support for our frontline services, we never received anything.
“One year on and we are still none the wiser as to how bids for funding were made. We tried everything: contacting civil servants, MPs asking questions in parliament and still received no straight answer from the government. Just radio silence,” said Rachel Kirby-Rider, Chief Executive.
It was a big blow. Children and young people deserve better. We’re determined to keep getting their voices heard – we're not backing down.
Early in 2020, while there were scenes of groceries being stockpiled, we discovered that some children and young people we support had been missed from the government’s vulnerable lists, even though their families had been advised to shield indoors to protect them from infection. We acted quickly, raising the issue with NHS partners and were pleased to get agreement for our social workers to become an official referral body so they could organise priority shopping slots and get families added for vital support like medication deliveries.