Kidney Cancer UK are proud to be part of the group of charities who issues an open letter calling for the the public to remain wearing facemasks in crowded places and observe social distancing to protect the vulnerable in our communities.
This story ran in The Observer on Sunday (18th July), this is an extract:
Dozens of Britain’s largest cancer charities today make a heartfelt plea to the public to keep wearing masks in crowded places and to maintain social distancing, amid concerns that vulnerable people will once again feel barred from the basic “normal activities” of daily life when Covid restrictions end.
In a powerful joint letter before Monday’s lifting of social contact regulations in England, 40 leading charities warn that the government’s determination to press ahead with the reopening means that for those most vulnerable to Covid, it will be “a day when freedoms are taken away”.
Cancer patients are just part of a much wider group of up to 3.8 million people deemed clinically extremely vulnerable to the virus, who have spoken of feeling unsafe and abandoned in the run-up to the ending of social contact restrictions.
In their open letter, the charities said that people with serious conditions that made them susceptible to Covid and less likely to be protected by vaccines needed a “message of solidarity” from others willing to continue with some measures to help keep everyone safe as cases increased.
“Tomorrow in England we will see Covid restrictions lifted, with people no longer required to wear face masks in crowded places or maintain social distance,” write the charities, which include Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Blood Cancer UK, Breast Cancer Now and Kidney Cancer UK. “Many people will be looking forward to tomorrow as the day they get their ‘freedoms back’. But for many people with cancer, tomorrow will be a day when freedoms are taken away.
You can read the full story on theguardian.com HERE
Open letter from cancer charities to the public
16th Jul 2021
40 charities and organisations have written an open letter, urging the public to help keep vulnerable people safe as restrictions ease.
Tomorrow in England we will see Covid restrictions lifted, with people will no longer required to wear face masks in crowded places or maintain social distance.
Many of people will be looking forward to tomorrow as the day they get their “freedoms back”. But for many people with cancer, tomorrow will be a day when freedoms are taken away. This is because their cancer, or their treatment for cancer, means the vaccine, even after two doses, is less likely to protect them from serious illness from Covid than it is for the general public.
Over the last few months, many people with cancer have been starting to get back to normal, meeting up with their friends outdoors or sitting outside at cafes and restaurants.
They have felt able to do this because the people around them have been wearing masks and keeping their distance. The more people exercise their freedom to stop wearing masks and stop social distancing, the more people with cancer will feel they have to stop their normal activities, and will feel more worried when they have to do things like use public transport.
We had hoped the Government would continue to insist people carry on wearing masks and social distancing in crowded places. But given the Government has decided not to do this, we are asking every person in England, knowing you already do so much for people with cancer through the financial support you give us, to do three things to help them further over the next few weeks:
Keep wearing masks in crowded places. There is good evidence they stop the spread, and for all you know, that person sitting a few seats down from you on the bus might be on their way to their chemotherapy appointment.
Keep your distance from people you don’t know. There is no way of knowing if someone has cancer and so might be vulnerable to the virus, so it’s best to assume everyone you come into contact with might be.
Get vaccinated if you haven’t done so already. Particularly for people with cancer who have a compromised immune system, the more people who are vaccinated, the safer they will be.
These three things are especially important in England, where the restrictions are being lifted first. But they are also things will help people with cancer in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, too.
Just one person doing these three things could make a real difference to someone with cancer. And the more of us who do them, the more we will help keep people with cancer safe, and send them a message of solidarity during the difficult weeks ahead.
Michelle Mitchell, CEO, Cancer Research UK
Delyth Morgan, CEO, Breast Cancer Now
Gemma Peters, CEO, Blood Cancer UK
Lynda Thomas, CEO, Macmillan Cancer Support
Fiona Hazell, CEO, Leukaemia UK
Diana Jupp, CEO, Pancreatic Cancer UK
Michelle Vickers, CEO, Head and Neck Cancer Foundation
Victoria Clare, CEO, Ovacome
Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, CEO, Leukaemia Care
Laura Kerby, CEO, Myeloma UK
Pamela Healy OBE, CEO, British Liver Trust
Ropinder Gill, CEO, Lymphoma Action
Nina Barough CBE, CEO, Walk The Walk
Annwen Jones OBE, CEO, Target Ovarian Cancer
Liz Darlison, CEO, Mesothelioma UK
Nick Turkentine, CEO, Kidney Cancer UK
Samantha Dixon, CEO, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust
Tony Heddon, Chairman, Neuroblastoma UK
Robin Pritchard & Paula Hargadon, Co-Directors, Cancer Care Map
Marc Auckland, Chair, CLL Support
Sue Farrington Smith, CEO, Brain Tumour Research
Athena Lamnisos, CEO, The Eve Appeal
Sarahjane Robertson, CEO, Look Good Feel Better
Jeannie Rigby, Director, Action Bladder Cancer UK
Jane Lyons, CEO, Cancer52
Richard Davidson, CEO, Sarcoma UK
Paula Chadwick, CEO, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
Tina Seymour, CEO, Hope for Tomorrow
Gillian Nuttall, CEO, Melanoma UK
Ken Mastris, Chairman, Tackle Prostate Cancer
Anna Webb, Manager, Myrovlytis Trust
Cary Wakefield, CEO, Ovarian Cancer Action
Alastair Richards, CEO, North West Cancer Research
Nigel Shattock, Director of Comms, World Cancer Research Fund
Kathryn Scott, CEO, Yorkshire Cancer Research
Dr David Jenkinson, CEO, The Brain Tumour Charity
Rose Woodward, CEO, Kidney Cancer Support Network
Natalie Heskell, CEO CoppaFeel!
Henny Braund, CEO, Anthony Nolan
Genevieve Edwards, CEO, Bowel Cancer UK