TODAY marked the start of a charity appeal by a cancer support service that touches the lives of thousands living in the Wessex region.

People with cancer and their families may have nowhere left to turn as time and money could be running out for Wessex Cancer Trust, which risks having to close if they do not raise £600,000 by January 31 2020.

'This would be a heartbreaking end': Cancer charity needs £600,000 in two months to prevent closure

The charity is now urging people to come together to help them survive this crisis situation.

The self-funded charity provides free emotional and practical support to anyone living with cancer in Hampshire, Dorset and Isle of Wight.

Financial strains have hit the service - which has four support centres in Chandler's Ford, Hythe, Bournemouth and Isle of Wight - following a 30 percent increase in demand for its services this year.

On average, the charity usually receives £450,000 a year in total from people who have left donation gifts in their will.

But it has been hit by a 65 percent reduction in people giving these gifts while a decline in the high street saw sales fall in its seven charity shops by 15 percent.

A large gift of money was promised to the charity but was then delayed and now the charity has fallen into its first crisis situation since opening in 1981.

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Here are five things you can do to help:

1) Text 'SAVEWESSEX' to 70085 to donate £10.

This costs £10 plus a standard rate message.

2) Donate online by visiting

As an alternative, you can set up your own JustGiving page to raise money for the charity at

Friends and family can be invited to give their donations online.

3) Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #SaveWessexCancerTrust

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be used to spread the hashtag and grow awareness of the charity appeal.

Organise a fundraising event or activity

This could include:

1) Having a bake-off. Get your friends, family or colleagues to bake cakes, pies and biscuits, and see who can produce the best-tasting sponge.

Anything left can be sold after judges have done their tasting and winning entries could be auctioned.

2) Car wash. Neighbours can be charged a price for washing cars, which can be donated to charity.

3) Bag packing at local supermarket. People can ask a supermarket if they can host a bag-packing day to raise money. People can buy for the service. Collection tins and t-shirts can be bought from Wessex Cancer Trust.

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4) Give something up. Get sponsored to go without something, for example, not speaking for a day, or giving up chocolate or alcohol for a month.

Donate the money you save or set up a sponsorship page on JustGiving.

5) Money boxes. They can be ordered by contacting Ask your office or workplace to advertise the challenge.

6) Entrepreneur day. Put on an Apprentice day at work or home and come up with a marketing idea. An amount can be chosen to start with to buy and sell an idea, and whoever raises the most money wins a prize.

7) Come up with your own idea to fundraise money.

8) Festive fancy dress.

Whether it’s a dress down day at work, a fancy dress pub crawl or a themed Christmas party – the charity have advised a £3 charge for each person who turns up in a festive outfit.

Become an Appeal Ambassador

Word can be spread by ambassadors about the Wessex Cancer Trust’s Crisis Appeal in the local community.

The charity said they need help with leaflets drops, collections and events.

For more information, contact

How to send money to Wessex Cancer Trust:

Fundraising can be paid in by phone. Call 02380 672200 to make a payment by credit or debit card.

Alternatively, money can be donated through the charity JustGiving page at and reference your name and fundraising challenge.