Cancer charity initiative of the year

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Improving patient access to radiotherapy in the NHS

By Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK’s ‘A Voice for Radiotherapy’ campaign highlighted inequalities in access to radiotherapy treatment and called for action to make the service among the best in Europe. The charity collected over 36,000 signatures in a petition and presented them to the Prime Minister. This contributed to a government commitment that all patients will receive the innovative radiotherapy they need, and alongside this launched the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund, to help increase the availability of an advanced type of radiotherapy called Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy. 

Judges' comments

"Before Cancer Research UK’s initiative few people were talking about radiotherapy, and very few Trusts actually focused on it. The charity galvanised the Department of Health to act and got it put into policy. The impact of the initiative was huge."


Highly commended

CLIC Sargent’s user participation programme

By CLIC Sargent

CLIC Sargent's Participation Programme helps children and young people with cancer aged seven to 24 to have their say about their cancer, treatment and experiences. This helps children and young people with cancer to shape and influence CLIC Sargent’s work and the work of other providers, so that they get the support they need. Last year children and young people shared their views and experiences through 191 separate age and ability appropriate opportunities which have influenced our work across all departments and at all levels. Feedback shows that 100% of those who participated valued the experience and would recommend taking part to others. 

Judges' comments

"This programme was user-driven, scalable and well managed and it went a lot deeper than just acting on governance issues – it looked to the future and how to use skills. Patients were involved in the design of projects, which is unusual. This initiative showed the way a charity should be governed."


Creation of bladder cancer charity providing support and information

By Fight Bladder Cancer

Five years ago, when Andrew Winterbottom was diagnosed with an aggressive stage four bladder cancer, there was not a single charity or national support organisation for people affected by bladder cancer in the UK. Having found out how that bladder cancer is the 7th most common cancer in the UK, Andrew decided that there was an urgent need to change this situation. This desire resulted in the setting up of a charity and a confidential support forum for anyone affected by bladder cancer. The forum now has over 800 members and the Twitter feed has over 1,400 followers. Fight Bladder Cancer also runs a Cancer Buddy service and has started to set up local groups around the country.

Judges' comments

"This new charity was set-up by a single person in an under-served area and the judges felt it was a fantastic effort. It was judged to be excellent commercial and entrepreneurial work that made good use of social media. It should lead to awareness, earlier diagnosis and hopefully better outcomes for the next generation of patients."

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