MACMILLAN Cancer Support, like all other charities, has seen a rise in demand for their services while fundraising income has dropped dramatically since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Local groups have been unable to help due to restrictions on social contact. However, last year a team of models from the Ilkley group made an impromptu virtual fashion show with their own clothes, filmed from their own gardens, driveways and country paths and raised £3,000 to help Macmillan services continue.

A spokesperson for the Ilkley Macmillan Fundraising Committee said: “This year, to capitalise on the idea, the volunteers have put together another show filmed out and about around the lovely town of Ilkley and its surrounding area.

“This year also, with supportive local retailers now re-opened, it has been possible to present a proper virtual fashion show and show that sense of normality everyone has craved.

“The Macmillan Yorkshire Appeal to raise £1 million will be the beneficiary of the Ilkley Virtual Fashion Show, enabling them to be there for every person in Yorkshire who needs their support as cancer patient, family and carers.

“Every donation received will stay in Yorkshire and help to fund more Macmillan posts, such as the speech and language therapist at Airedale Hospital and emergency response and vital services, some based at Shipley, for the 179,000 people currently living with cancer in Yorkshire.

“Each area of the county has identified where funding is desperately needed and our models and retailers know that their contribution will benefit the wider area of Yorkshire as well as close at hand.

“We hope that everyone who can will enjoy this year’s Virtual Show and will give generously to the Yorkshire Appeal either through the film’s just giving page or, if preferred, via the Ilkley fundraising group by contacting Barbara Varney on 01943 604947.”

A spokesperson for Macmillan added: “2020 was one of the toughest years in Macmillan’s 100-year history. The pandemic has led to an increased demand for our services, while at the same time we have seen our income decline due to our fundraising activities being restricted.

“Last year we lost over £1m in income across Yorkshire. In response to this, Macmillan have launched the Yorkshire Appeal which aims to raise additional funds to cover our emergency response and vital services that are needed to support the 179,000 people currently living with cancer in the region.

“The long-lasting impact of the coronavirus pandemic has yet to be truly felt, but the current consequences of the pandemic are impossible to ignore. “We will do whatever it takes to be there for every person in Yorkshire who needs our services, but we need your help. Your support has never mattered more.”

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