Last ever collection for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity. A crying shame.

I spent a very interesting couple of hours outside Tesco in Heswall on Saturday morning holding a bucket to collect money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, a 50 year old charity that raises money for actual research into these horrible cancers. Lots of charities offer support, information and so on, but few actually raise money and have their own labs investigating and seeking cures.

In those two hours, I collected just over £156, which I thought was an excellent total given that there were two of us on shift. It was very interesting to see the sort of people who were donating money and chat to some of those who did.

Mostly, the donors were elderly, female and often with a story to tell of a loved one who had or has leukaemia or lymphoma. There were people in wheelchairs and young kids, desperate for a sticker. “Thanks Mum!”

Fewer were young or even middle aged men. It was noticeable that the most generous were those that appeared to have the least – a sign of the times, and an encouragement to try to do more to help.

However, this is the last time that these particular buckets will be aired. In their infinite wisdom, the great and the good of this charity have decided to change the name to “Bloodwise” in September. How incredibly stupid is this? “Bloodwise”? What does that mean?

At present, this is one of those charities that does exactly what it says on the collecting tin. “Bloodwise” means nothing.

Every time someone goes out collecting for “Bloodwise”, they will have to explain what the charity is for, what it does and who it helps. During this time, other donors will be missed. Not so with “LLR”.

“Bloodwise” could be collecting money for diabetes, sycle-cell disease, HIV, anaemia or any number of other blood-related disorders.

I have spoken to and Tweeted the charity, for whom I am a supporter and recent committee member. The general membership are up in arms about this ridiculous and expensive name change, but apparently the decision has been made, after two years of “widespread consultation”.

People have already resigned from the fund raising committee locally and I can see more joining them. They have been desperate to bring younger members to the committee (like me!) because many have been leaving from having served on it for decades. They are going to find it very hard indeed to recruit if the purpose and aims of the charity aren’t absolutely clear.

With “Bloodwise”, that most certainly is not the case.

Shame on the powers that be – it will be the patients and dedicated supporters who suffer, not them. I will keep a close eye on their accounts going forward, paying particular attention to the amount and proportion donated to actual research. 

When is their AGM, I wonder?

14 thoughts on “Last ever collection for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity. A crying shame.”

  1. I am totally in agreement with this article. The LRF funded my PhD, LLR funded my postdoc positions. I’ve worked and fund-raised for this charity for over a decade, being proud to wear my little forget-me-not badge! As I write this, I’m sat at an international conference and a speaker just concluded his presentation with a page of his sponsors and “Bloodwise” is amongst them in its depressing, boring black font. My neighbour has just joked “bloodwise? This means what?” I find this name-change very sad.

    1. What can you do when the people at the top believe that the word Leukaemia means nothing to most people and that this new name is the way forward. Half of my committee are leaving and giving the main reason for the total waste of funds to this name change and that the name means nothing to people. All I can say is keep up your good work under the banner of LLR Scientist.

  2. I cannot believe that what I gather is the 4th largest medical research charity has any definitive rationale that this ridiculous name change will generate more money (after they pay off the name change costs) and jeopardise the well being of vulnerable patients and families. I have been involved for some considerable time with a number of charities whose group experience is that the general public prefer to seek out specific and easily recognisable causes. I carried out my own – completely unrepresentative survey of friends and strangers – none of whom guessed the correct medical charity from Bloodwise. Most thought it was HIV/AIDS, Haemophilia, Blood Transfusion and many hadn’t a clue.
    I can’t even give away some of the free promotion items as people have said the logo black pens and pencils are rather scary – I have to concur as I think the black and white logo looks rather funereal. Why change something that wasn’t broke? The excuse I was given was that the previous name “wasn’t working hard enough” – having studied research methodology and had my work published – I have no idea what this means!
    I sell this charity’s goods at an annual Christmas sale for a large number of charities and, worryingly, this year the cards and goods for Bloodwise are being ignored so far in comparison with eight previous years when Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research goods required re-stocking at even this early stage.
    I am so pleased in the past to have raised thousands for this charity but I genuinely fear that fundraisers will be working overtime to overcome the confusion and lack of recognition of this outrageously expensive name change. I sincerely hope that patients, medical and nursing staff, researchers and families will not be adversely affected by some non-evidenced based whim of change for the sake of change.

    1. Once again, thank you for all of this comments on this blog post.

      While the whole blog is a bit of vanity, really, I am heartened by the support which continues to be offered regarding this very important issue.

      I fear that it is too late to change anything now – there would be too much “face lost” if the decision were to be reversed. Not to say “jobs lost” too.

      The really disappointing thing is the evidence that is starting to come through that this was indeed a very bad decision by the charity and one that will, in all likelihood, affect collections adversely.

      And for that, we are all the worse off.

  3. Hi Andy,
    I have only today seen your blog and comments about Bloodwise.
    I absolutely agree with all you say about the name change. I was part of a branch in Scotland for 25years till two years ago. We were told that we were the branch in Scotland that raised the most money (over £800,000 in our time) yet we weren’t asked about the name-change. All our committee members were of a mind that it was a terrible move but, as I say, we weren’t approached for an opinion even though there are just a few branches north of the border.
    I wonder how successful the change has been? Have you had any feedback?
    All the best, Shirley

    1. Thank you for your reply, Andy. I’m not surprised to see the difference in the figures but very saddened too as the LRF, then LLR as we knew it, was always a charity that had a good name (with Leukaemia being one of the vital words in the title, we felt) with a loyal support base. Sadly, perhaps the latter’s involvement has dropped back due to the handling of events in recent years. I could say more from a personal point of view but feel I ought not to in a semi public forum.
      I would say too that undoubtedly the name change will mean new supporters are likely to be harder to reach. Not a Wise step!
      I very much hope you are keeping well, Shirley

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