Cancer Black Care saved from closure with new funding

Cancer Black Care

Black Cancer Care charity in Harlesden is closing for good at the end of March 2021. - Credit: Google

A cancer charity in Harlesden has a new lease of life after health chiefs u-turned on funding the vital service.

Cancer Black Care (CBC) was forced to close on March 31after funding whittled down to nothing.

However, Brent's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has agreed to fund the charity for six months, then a further six months "if key performance indicators are met", a total of roughly £75,000.

 Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE, chairperson of Cancer Black Care in Harlesden. - Credit: Ralph Hodgson

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh MBE, chairperson of the charity, said: "The CCG have said six months then a further six months. We have to show all these key performance indicators and be actively helping people to continue to the second tranche, which is very good indeed.

"We don't have a premises any longer. I've told the CCG who are looking to see if they have some space to rent.

"Ideally we'll find a space with two consulting rooms, an office, a kitchenette and a meeting space for up to five people."

The charity, set up in 1995, had been offering services remotely since the Covid lockdown and told this paper they would be forced to close for good on March 31 unless there was a rescue package.

CBC could no longer afford the rent on its Acton Road property and for now they will continue telephone consultations and collect forms that need completing by vulnerable members who need that help and support.

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Charity staff approached Macmillan's cancer charity which had agreed to step in and fund them when the CCG got back in touch saying it could help.

"Cancer diagnoses have gone down during lockdown because people haven't been going to the doctor. We almost anticipate there will be a surge as people are able to access their GPs," Professor Chinegwundoh added.

CBC currently has 250 clients with cancer, 100 of whom who are actively being helped.

The cash will pay the salaries of one full time member of staff and one part-time as well as overheads.

Denise Richards, of organisation United Shades of Black, who helped chase the funding said: "This is a good news story. The amount of people in the community who said they didn't know the support was available, now they do."

Brent CCG was contacted for comment.