For those who haven't met me yet, I am Diana Jupp, Acting Chief Executive for Bloodwise. I joined Bloodwise last year as the Director of Patient Experience, and bring with me over 20 years' experience of working in the cancer chairty sector.
As you are aware Bloodwise has had a difficult year. Although we continue to provide significant funds for ongoing awards we have had limited funds available for new research commitments this year and the amount of new investment we can make over the next few years will be lower than it has been in the recent past. We understand and regret the impact this has had on you and those you work with.
Our main focus now is what needs to be done, and how we can all work together to ensure that Bloodwise regains its strength quickly, now and for the future.
We are developing a research strategy to guide our future funding investment. As part of this process Alasdair Rankin has met with over a hundred of our Grantholders' over the past few months to hear what you think our priorities for blood cancer research funding should be. These discussions have been important both to shape our longer term thinking, and to help us decide our priorities as we begin to re-open some of our grant funding streams next year. Details of the funding streams we will open will be shared with you early in 2017.
Another priority for 2017 is to secure more research and clinical expertise at Board level. We are recruiting for three new trustee roles - one from a research/research funding background, one with substantial haematological oncology clinical expertise and another with fundrasing and charity sector experience. We welcome your suggestions. We will be seeking other opportunities to engage leaders in the field in advisory roles as we begin to implement our strategy.
Beyond our research priorities, we are refocusing and redoubling our fundraising efforts and working hard, to ensure Bloodwise is the first and natural choice for anyone affected by blood cancer.
Many of you have already approached us and said you want to help and do more for us, which we are very grateful for. We have some big plans for next year, and will certainly be back with more asks to support our funding in the future.
We are still coming through a difficult time right now. However, we are coming through it, and with your help, and the support of the broader blood cancer community of patients, families, health care professionals and researchers, we will ensure the long term success of this vital charity.