“Have a coffee. Have a chat. Please keep raising money. It’s crucial to all our lives.”

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Macmillan Cancer Support is warning its flagship Coffee Morning — one of the UK’s longest-running fundraising events — is facing a staggering 71% income drop (£20m) as it urges the public to do whatever it takes to fund its vital support ahead of a possible ‘tsunami of demand’ this autumn.

The event is usually held at cafes, shops, schools, offices and hospitals around the UK every September, with an average of 200,000 people registering to take part . But this year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Macmillan has changed the format for the first time in 30 years and is encouraging people to take part however suits them.

Ideas include setting up a virtual Coffee Morning online or make a donation online and raising a mug with a selfie.

Rotherham United were delighted to get involved with the hosting of a socially distanced pre-training coffee morning at their Roundwood headquarters this week.

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Paul Warne and a number of his Millers players donned t-shirts in the signature green colour, before “raising a mug” to raise awareness for the fantastic work carried out year-round by the cancer support charity.

Last year, Coffee Morning raised £27.5 million for the cancer support charity. Yet, early estimations show that it is currently on track to raise less than a third (29%) of that this year — the lowest amount in 11 years .

Paul Warne, manager of Rotherham United, said: “Last year you had an amazing effort with your MacMillan coffee mornings. You raised about £80,000 [in Rotherham], which is crucial – especially in these times because cancer hasn’t gone away.

“We still need to have the coffee mornings. I know this year, the coffee morning is down about 74 per cent.

“If you could support please do. It’s crucial, even if you can do a FaceTime one or a Zoom one, where you’re in your house but you still have a slice of cake.

“I’ll allow you to have this one time as it’s calorie-free on a MacMillan day.

“Have a coffee. Have a chat. Please keep raising money. It’s crucial to all our lives.”

Claire Rowney, Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We are going through one of the biggest crises in living memory and we want the public to know that the ‘new normal’ doesn’t mean that they can’t get involved with Coffee Morning this year. There are so many ways they can still show their support in whatever way they can and we’ve never needed their help more.

“Macmillan relies on donations to provide care and support for 1.9 million people affected by cancer every year — and sadly this support could be at risk without income from events like Coffee Morning. People with cancer need us more than ever. There has never been a more terrifying time in recent history to receive a diagnosis as people face potential disruption or delays to treatment, amid an increased risk of infection to the coronavirus.

“Coffee Morning has thrived for 30 years thanks to the enormous generosity of our supporters — and we need to act now to ensure it can continue to raise vital funds for people living with cancer for years to come.”

However you take part in Coffee Morning this year, you’ll be helping millions of people living with cancer, who need us to raise a mug more than ever. Sign up at coffee.macmillan.org.uk

Images: RUFC

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