Clic Sargent to change its name

The children’s cancer charity Clic Sargent plans to change its name to Young Lives vs Cancer as part of a “refocused” strategy, it announced today.

The charity said it made the decision after research revealed the old name was “holding us back”, particularly in the wake of a fall in donations during the pandemic.

The slogan “Young Lives vs Cancer” has been incorporated into the charity’s logo since 2016 and the charity plans to phase the new name in gradually to save money.

A survey of people not currently supported by the charity found that adopting the name Young Lives vs Cancer would increase the number of people who understood what the charity did and the number who would donate or accept support from its services if needed.

When asked to choose between the two names, respondents were more than three times more likely to donate to Young Lives vs Cancer than to Clic Sargent, the research found.

The charity was formed in 2005 by the merger of Sargent Cancer Care for Children, founded in 1968, and Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood, founded in 1976.

Rachel Kirby-Rider, the charity’s chief executive, said it had not taken the decision to rebrand lightly.

“We are incredibly proud of our history; but it’s become increasingly clear that having the name Clic Sargent meant people were missing out on our support, and the opportunity to raise money for children and young people going through cancer treatment.

“The research has shown that the charity’s name was holding us back.”

Kirby-Rider said the pandemic had been the biggest threat to the charity’s services and service users in the organisation’s history.

A survey of 486 young people and 730 parents supported by the charity found that 52 per cent of respondents felt they were not coping well as a result of the pandemic.

Kirby-Rider said the charity had seen “fears about treatment, money stretched to breaking point, families torn apart across the country to protect their child” and that the “isolation and mental health impact of living through a global pandemic when you or your child has been diagnosed with cancer has been devastating”.

“At the same time, we had to respond to a sudden and significant loss of funding as fundraising activities stopped,” said Kirby-Rider. “This meant some incredibly tough decisions and job losses.”

As a result, she said, the charity had “refocused on our core purpose” of ensuring all cancer patients aged up to 25 and their families across the UK received the support they need most.

“We need to be there to help more families in the UK face whatever cancer throws at them,” Kirby-Rider said.

“And it was clear that ignoring the insight and keeping the name Clic Sargent wouldn’t be doing the right thing for children and young people with cancer. We may have a new name, but we’ve got the same purpose, pride and passion to face it all, together.”

The charity said the name change would be phased in across all channels, activities and materials over the next year to reduce costs and minimise waste.

Branded materials and merchandise, much of which already includes the “young lives” slogan, would only be updated once existing stock had been depleted and they would have needed to be replaced anyway, the charity said.

But it added that essential changes to the charity’s website and online system, to enable people it supports to continue to access information, resources and grant payments, as well as allowing people to donate or volunteer, required external technical support.

The charity estimates this cost less than £8,000.

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