Cancer charity to close because of cost of living crisis

THE COST of living crisis and ‘ridiculous’ utility bills are forcing a Stalybridge-based cancer charity to close for good.

Cancer Warriors, on Melbourne Street, will cease its activities at the end of the month because it cannot afford to keep going.

The Correspondent featured how it was hit with an £8,500 electricity bill after it moved into the premises, which it hoped would provide a base for people living with cancer to thrive.

But after that left the coffers pretty much bare and with heating and lighting costs continuing to rise, the decision has been taken to shut.

The drop in centre on Melbourne Street, Stalybridge

Chair of Cancer Warriors, Larysa Iwanyckyj, detailed the reasons.

She said in a statement: “It is with a heavy heart that due to the cost of living crisis and utility bills at a ridiculous rate, Cancer Warriors is having to close its doors on the March 31 and cease as a charity due to financial reasons.

“We have been successful as a registered charity for six years and have met some wonderful, amazing people who have used our service along the way and I hope in some small way we have helped to make their journey a little smoother.

“Our charity wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did if we hadn’t had the help and support of our amazing volunteers that we have had over the years.

Cancer Warriors Stalybridge (2)
Derrick Evans founder of Cancer Warriors outside their HQ in Stalybridge – GGC Media LTD

“They have dedicated their free time to Cancer Warriors and have been an integral part of keeping the centre ticking over and supporting those who have walked through our doors and as the chair of the charity I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness.

“We have worked alongside various other organisations and charities like Being There, MacMillan, Rotary, Lions, Infinity Initiatives and many more and we’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks to you all for your support.

“Thanks to everyone who has carried out fundraising events and donated money to our charity, this has been what has kept our doors open so that we could provide the support needed to our service users.

“Finally, as the chair of the charity I would like to take the opportunity to thank the trustees who have worked alongside me (past and present) and for making Cancer Warriors the success it has been for the past six years and the amazing team of volunteers who without, we would never have lasted as long as we did.

“Thanks to our founder Derrick Evans for the vision that is Cancer Warriors as a charity. Thanks to everyone who has been there for us, your support has been greatly appreciated.”

Derrick, who himself has lived with cancer, spelled out the problems facing the charity after the large bill from Opus Energy after an apparent meter reading landed on its doorstep.

He told The Correspondent: “If we don’t get funds in soon, the doors will shut.

“It’s gutting as it’s taken so long to get us here and we’re so needed now.

“Being at this building, I’ve seen such an increase in service users and we’re helping so many people but it really is heartbreaking.

“When I came up with the idea of Cancer Warriors, this is what I wanted. We’ve got bills to pay – the rent and utilities – once that’s gone, we can’t open the door.

“The day we came in, we were met by someone who wanted to read the meter. We took that as standard.

“When the guy read the meter, we thought that was the company getting everything it needed. I know he came as I was the one who let him in and he claimed he was from the company.

“We’ve done everything we can but the ombudsman came back and said,’ Sorry, they’re within their rights to do that.’

“We explained we’re a charity and we need the help. They just said, ‘No.’”

Opus Energy over the situation but they insisted they did not get a meter reading.

They said: “We did not receive any meter readings for these premises from either one of our third-party operators or one of our field agents on or around the date of 1st September 2021.

“The meter readings we hold for this date were submitted to us via a previous account holder.

“When Opus was informed in February 2022 that Cancer Warriors UK had been the active tenants since 1st September 2021, we informed them that they had entered a deemed contract which would be backdated to September 2021 and which had higher rates than a fixed or variable rate contract would.

“However, our sales team worked quickly to agree a fixed contract with the customer which would have lower rates.

“The total amount owed from 1st September 2021 to 6th September 2022 was £8,543.73 and was paid in full by the customer on 9th September 2022.”


3 Replies to “Cancer charity to close because of cost of living crisis”

  1. Probably no bad thing in it’s way, the UK has over 200,000 registered charities, (with far too much duplication,) many of which have been described as being little more than get rich quick schemes for there organizers or simply as just rackets and that would include most of the major ones as well many of the less high profile undertakings.

  2. Coming from someone who actually uses this small charity and support group I totally disagree either your comments.
    It’s never been a get rich quick scheme.
    It’s a Support and information service for everyone affected by cancer.

  3. Moronic comment. Of COURSE it’s a bad thing. It’s a small local cancer charity which was helping people living with cancer and now it won’t be helping those people!

    I do agree that large charities waste loads of money. I never donate to Cancer Research UK for this reason.

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