A CANCER charity is calling on people across Cumbria to show their support as its biggest fundraising event faces a staggering drop in income.

Macmillan Cancer Support says the number of people planning a Coffee Morning in aid of its work this year has fallen by 73 per cent and fears there will be an equivalent fall in the money raised.

Nationally, figures show the number of sign-ups are down by about two thirds. The £27.5m raised in 2019 is expected to fall to under £8m this year - the lowest amount Coffee Morning will have raised in 11 years.

Last year Cumbrians raised £206,800 by taking part in the charity's flagship event and Macmillan is urging people to find out about the new ways to take part in virtual or socially distanced coffee mornings.

Jane Melvin, of Macmillan, said: “There has never been a more terrifying time in recent history to receive a cancer diagnosis with disruption and delays to treatment and fears of increased risk of becoming infected with coronavirus.

“A huge 98 per cent of Macmillan’s income is from donations and events like Coffee Morning. While Coffee Morning can’t take place in exactly the same way as before this year, there are still lots of ways to get involved.

“At Macmillan we’re facing a possible tsunami of demand coming towards us this autumn, as the cancer system gets moving again and the backlog of delayed diagnoses begins to be dealt with. Worryingly this increased need for support would come at a time when our fundraised income has dropped significantly.

“We’re facing the hardest year in our 109-year history. It’s no exaggeration to say Macmillan and people with cancer have never needed the public’s help more than we do right now.”

Visit coffee.macmillan.org.uk to sign up.