The Fred and Charlie Allen Cancer Trust is now in its 'soft launch' phase, meaning we are gradually going live and starting to talk about the Trust, although we haven't officially launched it yet. That will come soon - but since you are reading this already, thank you.
Why are we launching this Trust? If I could summarise it, it is for 3 reasons:
1. To create a living memorial: Fred and Charlie (or Pops and Possum as I knew them - but that's a longer story...) were two remarkable people. Warm, kind, funny, generous of spirit, family centred, almost universally admired - and a part of our family. We want to find a way of allowing them to continue to contribute, even after they have gone, in a way that is real - that evolves, grows, has successes and failures - but that is living.
2. To help the little guy: There are so many fantastic charities out there, particularly cancer charities. And good luck to all of them. But sometimes it can be difficult for the little guy to get ‘airtime’ – to be seen behind the well-funded, well established charities that everyone knows. And these smaller charities are often doing genuinely amazing work that has a positive emotional and physical impact on people’s lives. We know that work is already being done, so we aren’t trying to emulate it. Rather, we’re trying to help them do it more and do it better. For this reason, and so that donations aren’t watered down by passing through two charities, we have and always will have 0% administrative costs. What you give us goes directly to the people who need it.
3. To raise awareness: We know – everyone ‘gets it’. Cancer is everywhere, everyone knows about it, everyone understands it is a problem. But with the latest statistics saying that ‘half of UK people’ will get cancer (Cancer Research UK) – is that enough? I was listening to Stephen Fry yesterday on Radio 4, when he said that, having contracted cancer himself, one of his first thoughts was “this is something that happens to other people”. Well, it no longer is. Everyone at some point will be affected in some way. Knowing is preparing. Understanding helps coping. The more people talk, the more we know we often all share a similar pain.