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Reducing the size of Blood Cancer UK

25th Sep 2020 - Gemma Peters

Our Chief Executive, Gemma Peters, gives an update on our decision to reduce the size of our charity.


At the end of July, I wrote about the financial impact the coronavirus pandemic was having on us, and how all the cancelled fundraising events meant we were going to have to reduce the number of people who work here.

I’m writing to update you on what has happened since.

As you can imagine, it has been a difficult six weeks. During this time, I have been so impressed by the way every member of staff, and especially those whose jobs have been at risk, have continued to focus on doing brilliant work for people affected by blood cancer.

I want to thank the staff who gave feedback on our proposed new structure. Their insights have challenged some of our thinking, and as a result we’ve made changes to the proposal that I think have strengthened it.

This week, we have moved to the new structure, and that has meant reducing the number of people who work here from 120 to 87. It has also meant saying goodbye to brilliant, dedicated colleagues, and I want to publicly thank each one of them for their contribution to our work to beat blood cancer. I’m sorry to see them go and I wish them all the very best for the future.

As hard as this change is, the new structure both secures our financial sustainability and gives us the best chance of increasing our research investment as quickly as possible. And while we’re now a smaller organisation and it’s a difficult time for any charity to raise money, I feel real confidence about the future.

The reason for this confidence is the people I’m lucky enough to work alongside.

The way our staff have responded to challenges of the last few months has shown me that each and every one of them understands that our mission is too important for us not to succeed.

And the way our community has pitched in during the difficult last few months, often when they have had concerns about their own health, has been truly humbling. Our community of people affected by blood cancer has been the beating heart of our charity over the last six decades, and the last few months have reaffirmed how vital they will be in continuing to drive forward our work.

So whether it’s our staff or our wider community, if you’ve seen the determination, ingenuity and sense of ambition that I see in them every day, you’ll know they’re not a group of people you’d ever bet against.

That’s why, for all the challenges we’ll face in the months ahead, I still absolutely believe we will be the generation that beats blood cancer.

So let’s get on and do it.