Breast cancer charity leaning on Government to continue vital research

The UK’s leading breast cancer research charity has launched a campaign to keep the power on vital research as the Government reviews its spending plans for the future (2015-16).

Breast Cancer Campaign, which funds world-class breast cancer research across the UK, is calling on Government to maintain and improve two essential Government schemes - the Charity Research Support Fund and the Gift Aid Scheme.

The Charity Research Support Fund, set up by the Government in 2006, is designed to cover the additional costs of research not met by charity funding, for example, heating, lighting and powering of laboratories. The Fund covers the indirect costs of research and losing it could be the equivalent of Breast Cancer Campaign cutting around a quarter of its £5 million annual research spend, overnight.

Breast Cancer Campaign is also calling on the Government to improve access to Gift Aid from small donations made in the workplace, after losing out on hundreds of thousands of pounds each year due to red tape.

Millions of workers across the UK take part in charity fundraisers at work each year and Gift Aid enables charities to claim tax on the donations they receive from UK taxpayers.

Breast Cancer Campaign’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, raises almost £2 million a year from small donations made in the workplace, however Breast Cancer Campaign estimates it only receives around 10 per cent of what it should be able to claim in Gift Aid from this event.

This money could be used to fund around two research project grants which could play a significant role in helping to treat or prevent breast cancer in the future.

Breast Cancer Campaign is calling for a simple change in Gift Aid legislation, allowing employers to sign a single declaration form for all their employees taking part in workplace fundraising events to confirm they are employed by the company and are, therefore, likely to be paying enough tax to cover their small donations.

Charities make a crucial contribution to medical and health research in the UK and latest figures show more than a billion pounds was invested by charities in 2011. With the help of its supporters, Breast Cancer Campaign has funded more than £40 million of world-class breast cancer research to save and improve lives.

Mia Rosenblatt, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “The Charity Research Support Fund and Gift Aid schemes are, quite literally, huge lifelines to charities like Breast Cancer Campaign and those affected by breast cancer.

“There will be difficult decisions made when the Government reviews its spending for the years ahead but we must keep the power on medical research so we don’t lose vital progress in discovering routes to quicker diagnosis, new improved treatments and ways to stop breast cancer and other diseases recurring and spreading.

“We’re asking all those touched by breast cancer in the UK to take action by joining our campaign today.”

Breast Cancer Campaign supporter Carly Gibson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, when she was just 29 years old.

Carly said: “I’ve gone through so much and know how important research is in helping women like me, faced with the same news. Research gives hope for my daughter and for future generations, so I’ll be using my power for all these women by taking action for Breast Cancer Campaign and encouraging others to do the same.”

To take action and help keep the power on life-saving research, please visit breastcancercampaign.org/poweron, fill in your address and we’ll help you to contact both your local Member of Parliament and the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee to highlight the importance of these schemes to charities like Breast Cancer Campaign.