Helping us make the ultimate breakthrough

10 October 2014

Breakthrough Breast Cancer began 25 years ago with one man’s absolute commitment, following the loss of his wife, to stopping women dying from breast cancer. Together with the help of many extraordinary people, he raised the £15 million needed to build the first dedicated breast cancer research centre, where experts could work together to find a way to beat the disease.

Since then, our pioneering research has saved thousands of lives. More than half a million women in the UK are alive today following breast cancer diagnosis. But it isn’t enough. We can’t take away the fear that the cancer might return and spread to other parts of their body and that, this time, they won’t beat it.

Today, gifts from wills make up only a small amount of our annual income. But this has been slowly and steadily growing over recent years. So it’s important that we build on that by talking about this way of supporting us as often as possible. Remember A Charity’s Living Legends-themed awareness week gave us a fantastic opportunity to talk about gifts in wills to our supporters.

We also got to celebrate some of our own living legends – the mum-of-two who took part in one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races to raise money for us, the supporters who have already left us gifts in their wills, our 80-year-old office volunteer who has been with us for over a decade, and our trustee who did a tandem skydive to raise funds. While I was talking to our trustee, she revealed that she, too, has included a gift to Breakthrough in her will, which is absolutely wonderful news.

We were lucky enough to be featured in the Aberdeen Press & Journal legacies supplement. This, and our activity on social media, generated a huge amount of website traffic – more than we’d received in the past three months put together.

We also screened the film for staff and gave a talk on gifts in wills, which enabled us to explain why they are important and why people leave them to us, and remind staff that it’s easy to mention gifts in wills to those who want to know about different ways of supporting us.

One day, with help from gifts in wills, we’ll be able to make the ultimate breakthrough and stop breast cancer for good.

To find out more about how to leave a legacy to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, click here.

Sarah Cunningham, gifts in wills manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer