The Prince of Wales has said the nation is learning’ how powerful communities are in a crisis’ in a video encouraging Britons to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support’s coffee morning this Friday.
In a video message, Prince Charles, 71, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fundraising event that allows people to ‘raise a cuppa’ to those battling cancer and said it represented the ‘very best of British community spirit’.
The prince, who is Macmillan’s patron, advocated the charity’s annual fundraising drive, saying: ‘It truly represents the very best of British community spirit – and, in current times, we are learning just how powerful communities can be, especially in a crisis.’
The royal appears alongside actress Sue Johnston and a number of celebrities who appear in new three-minute films to narrate the stories of Macmillan nurses and people with cancer.
The Prince of Wales has joined a member of Britain’s other Royle Family in a video message to encourage the nation to brew up for Macmillan Cancer Support’s coffee morning this Friday
In a video message, Prince Charles, 71, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the fundraising event that allows people to ‘raise a cuppa’ to those battling cancer and said it represented the ‘very best of British community spirit’. Pictured: Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall in April
The coffee morning raised almost £30 million last year and is vital for Macmillan as public donations provide 98 per cent of its income.
The charity now faces losing a third of its total donation money due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the pandemic and the latest ‘rule of six’ coronavirus guidance, it has adapted the event and people can now join in by hosting a socially distanced stall on their doorstep, organising a virtual get-together, taking on a fitness challenge or by uploading a ‘Raising a Mug’ selfie and donating.
Appearing in the clip, Prince Charles said: ‘Over the years it has become not only a formidable fundraising campaign, raising an incredible £27.4 million last year, but also an invaluable opportunity for friends and family to come together to share experiences and to “raise a cuppa” to those affected by cancer.
Actress Sue Johnston, who starred in the popular BBC comedy The Royle Family, is one of a number of celebrities who appear in new three-minute films to narrate the stories of Macmillan nurses and people with cancer
‘Macmillan works tirelessly across all areas – physical, emotional and financial – to support people when they need it most.’
The royal starred in the advert alongside actress Sue Johnston, whose father was cared for by Macmillan nurses.
The former Brookside actress narrated the poignant story of Macmillan lead cancer nurse Lynda Hall.
Speaking the nurse’s words, Sue said: ‘The job is to be there for people. Being there when patients are being told bad news, helping them through their treatment, and afterwards, when they’ve finished treatment, we need to help them adjust to what comes next.
Silent Witness star Emilia Fox also featured in the video to narrate the stories of Macmillan nurses and people with cancer
‘At the end of the day, that patient is somebody’s family – their mum or dad or brother or sister or husband or wife. You know, they’re important, and that could be one of your family there, so treat them accordingly.’
Tenet star Himesh Patel also recorded a film, alongside Silent Witness actress Emilia Fox, Cold Feet’s Cel Spellman and Killing Eve’s Nina Sosanya.
Fox speaks the words of Emma Young, who in 2014 was given six months to live after being diagnosed with bone and breast cancer and today describes her cancer as ‘stable’.
The actress said: ‘My relationship didn’t work out, so now I am a single mum – to three gorgeous children.
Sue Johnston narrated the story of Macmillan lead cancer nurse Lynda Hall and described how the job is about ‘being there for people’
‘It’s hard, it’s tiring but it gives me something to focus on and a reason to get out of bed every day. I urgently needed to give them experiences, make memories. I didn’t know how long I had, so time was of the essence.’
Macmillan has said its flagship coffee morning is facing a £20 million drop in income and a fall of this size could risk more than 80,000 cancer patients missing out on support from a Macmillan nurse next year.
Claire Rowney, executive director of fundraising, marketing and communications at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘These short films are a powerful reminder of the lifeline Macmillan provides to people living with cancer every day – something that we simply won’t be able to do in the same way in the future, without the public’s generous donations.’
The video comes days after Prince Charles opened a virtual edition of the Highland Games, which was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Royal opening: Prince Charles was in a jovial mood as he formally opened the virtual Highland Games after the annual summer event was cancelled due to Covid-19
The Prince of Wales was on hand to raise the standard as a small group gathered on August 29 to compete behind closed doors in a pared-back version of the Braemar Highland Games, in Aberdeenshire.
The event was filmed and shown online from Saturday 12, in an event dubbed ‘the Virtual Highland Games’.
Prince Charles typically attends the Games, known as the Braemar Gathering, alongside his mother the Queen, 93, and it is a highlight in the royals’ summer calendar.
This year a series of track, dancing, piping and heavy events took place without an audience.
However the competitions were filmed and combined with recordings of hill race and tug of war competitions to create a full day of online programming on September 12 which was dubbed the ‘Virtual Highland Games’.