Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Our story:

We know how a cancer diagnosis can affect every aspect of family life. Team Solan’s goal is to directly support residents and help them to take back some control in their life. No one should have to face cancer alone. Note that we only take diagnosed referrals from Health Professionals. We are professionally run. Our founder, Mark Solan, has 20 years of fashion retail experience and our other Trustees are a Solicitor and an Accountant.

Mark began supporting families impacted by cancer in 2015, and registered as a charity in 2017, to fill a gap he saw to directly help individuals and families touched by cancer. The Charity is all about kindness, caring, help and support to families, individuals and loved ones along their cancer journey. Since 2015, Mark has met with lots of people living with and affected by cancer and learned that whilst a cancer diagnosis is life-changing, it is not always life-defining, and with emotional and practical support, many people affected ( “Warriors” ) can move on as parents, grandparents, friends, colleagues, and also be a great support group to other “Warriors”.

Our focus is to help improve the quality of life of those affected by cancer. We recognise that everyone’s practical needs can be different. Based in Spennymoor, operating across County Durham and Darlington, we provide practical, usually face to face help, support and advice to those in need. We have a well-established support group that meets regularly. We help fund-raise to address specific family needs. With minimal red tape, a strong caring ethos, flexibility and focus, we start with the view that we can and will help, then quickly work out how. Help can be just be providing emotional support and reassurance that people do beat their cancer diagnosis.

We have learned a lot in 3 years. We are privileged to have helped over 400 families and residents in over 20 towns and villages since we began. The ongoing needs in our area are much clearer and there is much more that we know that we can do to reach more people, in more locations. We can be more effective and efficient. Note we only take diagnosed referrals from Health Professionals. The largest issue that we face as a charity is “scaling up”, adding the capability to reach and to help more "Warriors families" and this is where we hope support can help.

Our Project aims and the difference it will make:
A key element of our development plan is to become mobile, providing more varied support away from the charity at residents homes, Community Centres, Schools and organised events, sharing information on the service provided across County Durham and Darlington. We already get referrals MacMillan and others. We are already in contact with communities and families who would benefit from a mobile service. Attendance at a greater range of events would also enable us to better reach Warriors that we are already in contact with, increase awareness and offer more services in a wider community area. This application is to request funding to provide the key equipment needed to be able to offer this mobility.

We have already secured a vehicle to transport the equipment that we believe we need. This includes a Gazebo to offer outside protection and housing for equipment, 2 folding tables, a mobile massage table, 2 mobile massage chairs, a portable clothes rail, an A frame advertising stand, an A4 leaflet dispenser, other mobile equipment and materials, and a mobility scooter.

Financially the charity has grown from making a small loss in year 1 ( requiring a loan from Mark Solan to continue) to a small profit in the next 8 months, to a more healthy position in the year to May 2018. The latter was via an increased focus on external events and fundraising, built upon increased awareness of the charity across County Durham and Darlington. We have established a track record, that we can build upon and the passion to succeed in this key area.

Project Video

Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust

Moment of Pride

Families and individuals tell us we make a huge difference to their lives and their ability to cope with the personal impact of cancer in many ways. With minimal red tape, a strong caring ethos, flexibility and focus, we start with the view that we can and will help, then quickly work out how.

Location: County Durham, UK