Thank you for helping over 1,500 children with cancer at Christmas
We are delighted to say that thanks to your amazing donations our Cuddles for Christmas appeal and our new Bag of Smiles campaign exceeded their targets.
Cancer Support UK announces new three year vision
We believe in a future world where those impacted by cancer do not need to suffer needlessly and we will play our part to achieve this by delivering three important commitments by 2025.
The benefits of cold water swimming by Jane Woods, Cancer Coach volunteer
Jane Woods’ love of cold water swimming started with a quick dip one Christmas day several years ago in Swanage. “I decided to swim once a month for a year, then once a week. It has become an almost daily habit, which helps lift my mood and keeps anxiety at bay.”
“I have made five new friends through Cancer Coach.” – Claire’s story
“If I find myself worrying too much now, I read my workbook and the notes I made. This reminds me that I can worry less and reassures me that worrying is normal. However, there’s a time and a place for worry and it doesn’t have to consume my thoughts every day.” Claire recommends joining Cancer Coach, as the course really helped her.
How to manage food and fitness for a happy healthy Christmas
The festive season is well underway now with the usual rounds of parties, drinks and over indulging. It can be pretty overwhelming and often when you are feeling isolated or depressed, the prospect of the next few weeks can be quite scary. Life is about finding the right balance and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a little plan in place to help you get as much enjoyment as possible. So here are a few ideas from Dr Nancy Priston, our Health Ambassador, to help keep you on track.
How to survive Christmas – tips from our Cancer Coach participants
We asked our Cancer Coach participants to share their survival tips for the festive season. From focusing on spending time with family and friends to treating yourself to a facial, their advice comes from first-hand experience on how to make the most of this special time of year without being overwhelmed.
How to manage a workplace conversation about cancer
Knowing how to communicate productively yet sensitively with colleagues in your workplace who are affected by cancer is essential. Through our Cancer Coach work, we’ve learnt there are many helpful things to say and do when someone is affected by cancer. It’s important to understand what kind of language and what type of conversation is likely to encourage them to get across what they need to say, while feeling comfortable.
Here are some useful approaches to help you manage conversations about cancer. Remember there is no such thing as a perfect script – the main aim is to be aware of the pressures, which people affected by cancer face.
The meaning of Christmas…when you’re facing cancer
For people living with and beyond cancer, the festive period can be a time of anxiety as well as joy. Four of our Cancer Coach participants talk about their cancer experiences at Christmas and how they faced up to a different future with the support and friendship of their fellow group members.
“Our son’s cancer diagnosis has changed us as a family,” – Finnie’s Kids’ Kit story
Finnie’s cancer diagnosis was the news that no family should ever have to face. He has endured three years of intense and gruelling treatment, as well as separation from his family. “Childhood cancer changes a family forever, but the support of charities like Cancer Support UK, who gave Finnie a Kid’s Kit, have helped to brighten Finnie’s hospital stays,” says his mum Kellie.
“I absolutely love everything in the Comfort Kit.” – Nasreen’s story
“When I first received my cancer diagnosis I was absolutely broken and in shock. But after my operation I thought I’m going to fight this and not let it take over my life.” Nasreen has been through surgery and gruelling treatment, but found the Comfort Kit a great help.
“When treatment finished I felt very alone and scared” – Michael’s Cancer Coach story
Michael felt very alone and scared once his cancer treatment had finished. He joined Cancer Support UK’s Cancer Coach programme and found the online meetings helpful. “It was therapeutic to hear other people’s cancer journey stories and to be able to share mine.”
Practical solutions for cancer patients facing emotional and economic challenges – by Mark Guymer
As the cost of living escalates, CEO Mark Guymer believes that it’s more important than ever to support people living beyond cancer, giving them the confidence to take control of their recovery.
‘Dim the lights’ to reach your goals – Health and fitness blog by Dr Nancy Priston
In her new blog series for Cancer Support UK, our new Health and Fitness Ambassador, Nancy Priston, aims to help you reframe your thinking about your levels of activity and healthy living generally. The strategies Nancy uses are designed to support your progress and, most importantly, to help you feel better while doing it.
Mondelēz UK employees give Cancer Support Ambassador training a big thumbs up
Cancer Support UK was delighted to receive positive feedback from Mondelēz UK employees who had received Cancer Support Ambassador training.
Cancer Coach online referral form now available for healthcare professionals
If you are a healthcare professional and would like to refer someone to Cancer Coach, you can do so online, through the Cancer Support UK website.
Fitness expert Nancy Priston to become Health Ambassador for Cancer Support UK
Nancy Priston will work with Cancer Support UK by sharing her expertise through a new digital health column, which will be aimed at supporting those who have received a cancer diagnosis and who are interested in becoming healthier and fitter.
“Your Chemo Kit gave me joy, excitement and the knowledge that I wasn’t alone.” – Jo’s story
The kit provided me with the knowledge that I wasn’t alone. It told me that people were there for me during this awful time and gave me joy and excitement.
“I loved everything about Cancer Coach. It’s a great service.” – Hilda’s story
Cancer Coach proved a life changing experience for Hilda. “I loved everything about Cancer Coach. It’s a great service and I found it so useful. I really looked forward to my Monday sessions and talking with people who understood me.
Cancer Support Ambassador Autumn training course dates
Book a place on Cancer Support UK’s Cancer Support Ambassador Autumn training courses, which cover the physical and emotional side effects of both cancer and cancer treatments. The course content also contains tools and strategies to equip workplace Cancer Support Ambassadors with key skills to have supportive conversations with individuals experiencing emotional turmoil due to or caused by the effects of cancer.
Mark Guymer CEO, reflects on the legacy of “One of the world’s greatest supporters of charities”
“Since the announcement of Her Majesty’s death, I have read and listened to many different responses,” says CEO Mark Guymer. One commentator resonated deeply with me when they said, “It’s not about learning to live without someone, it’s about learning to live with the love they have left behind.”
“Your amazing Kids’ Kit helped lift my daughter’s spirits” – Tilly’s cancer story
“We try to take everything a day at a time. Our family has been severely impacted through the experience, but we are completely united in supporting Tilly as she tries to resume normal – or as close to normal living as possible.”
Cancer Coach tips – Charlene’s relaxation exercise
Cancer Coach facilitator Charlene uses a simple but highly effective breathing exercise to help her group cope with anxiety following cancer treatment.
Meet Emma Kennedy-Cox, Trust Fundraising Manager
Our Trust Fundraising Manager Emma is passionate about helping people with cancer. Emma excels at bringing Cancer Support UK’s work to life, sharing our vision with funders in order to engage them and ultimately gain vital funding to ensure we can continue to support people affected by cancer.
Cancer Support UK launches new course to train Cancer Support Ambassadors in the workplace
The impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on an individual’s mental health is significant, yet 85% of employees with a cancer diagnosis want to carry on working. This highlights a need for effective support strategies to be put in place by businesses to help colleagues living with cancer. Cancer Support UK has developed a bespoke Cancer Support Ambassador Training programme to train businesses to support employees living with cancer.
A Cancer Kit gave Ruth a big morale boost at a low point in her life – Ruth’s Cancer Kit story
“It’s really important that you are supported both during and after treatment has finished. Because that is the point where everything stops and you’re left wondering what’s going to happen next. The Cancer Kit Ruth received as a result of your donations gave her a big morale boost when she was feeling very low.
“Cancer Coach helped me understand my emotional turmoil” – Lynne’s Cancer Coach story
Following treatment for breast cancer, Lynne turned to Cancer Coach for help. She used the course’s strategies and peer support to move forward with her life. “The sessions were very relaxed. The Cancer Coach facilitator was so welcoming and an amazing listener – very empathetic to everyone in the group, particularly during emotional conversations.
Charlotte Poulter promoted to Head of Service
Cancer Support UK’s Cancer Coach Manager Charlotte Poulter has received a well deserved promotion and is now Head of Service. Charlotte’s hard work has ensured the success of the Cancer Coach service, building positive working relationships with participants, volunteers, partners, stakeholders and the voluntary sector.
“My Chemo Kit was such a generous, thoughtful and supportive gift” – Jos’ story
Former children’s cancer nurse Jos McLaren, 43, was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer during lockdown. Five months later she was shocked to learn that the cancer had spread to her spine, changing her diagnosis to stage 4 with a terminal prognosis. Having completed chemotherapy, she now receives monoclonal antibody injections to prevent the cancer from spreading any further. Jos’ experience inspired her to compose and record a song to give hope to other cancer patients.
“Cancer Coach enables me to give something back and make a difference.” – Jane’s Cancer Coach story
Jane is one of Cancer Support UK’s amazing Cancer Coach volunteers. An experienced coach, she lives in Dorset and facilitates our Cancer Coach courses remotely for the benefit of people across the UK who have completed their cancer treatment.
Meet Olivia Gray, Head of Learning and Development
We’d like to introduce you to Olivia, who has written a blog about her role at Cancer Support UK, helping organisations manage conversations about cancer with colleagues and customers. She ensures that organisations are given the right tools to communicate about cancer, whether it’s through an individually tailored workshop or via an online e-learning module.
“It’s the most extraordinary gift. I have my life back again.” – John Lawrence story update
John was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2021 and given the worst possible news – that the tumour in his throat was beyond treatment. In the midst of chemotherapy, he received a Chemo Kit, made possible by our generous supporters. It was the boost he so desperately needed. Best of all, his terminal journey took an unexpected turn and he’s now in remission.
Cancer Support UK joins Cancer52
Cancer Support UK is now a member of Cancer52, an umbrella charity, which represents over 100 charities and patient organisations, who are united by their vision of seeing a better future for everyone affected by the rare and less common cancers.
“My Cancer Kit was a little piece of heaven, which left me feeling supported.” – Karen’s Cancer Kit story
Despite a stage 3 bowel cancer diagnosis and an Acoustic Neuroma (low grade brain tumour), Karen, 51, has refused to be defined by her cancer and has forged a new life for herself.
Sh’bamathon for Cancer Support UK at Nuffield Health, Surbiton
Help support Cancer Support UK by taking part in a fun packed Sh’bamathon from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday 3 July at Nuffield Heath Surbiton, Surrey.
The power of peer support – my Cancer Coach experience – by Mark Guymer CEO
Cancer Support UK’s new CEO, Mark Guymer, writes about his experience as an observer on our Cancer Coach course, which offers peer support to people post cancer treatment.
“All the other participants in my group were very welcoming, friendly and open, even though we were all strangers to each other.” – Anne’s Cancer Coach story
“The group’s coach was very welcoming, as were all the other participants in my group. Even though we were all strangers to each other, we had all gone through a similar experience. Everyone was very friendly and open.
“Being able to talk with other people who had similar experiences to me was invaluable.” Samantha’s Cancer Coach story
“I absolutely loved the group and got a lot out of it. I have stayed in contact with two ladies who were on the course with me. We now have a WhatsApp group to keep in touch regularly, which really helps.
Cancer Support UK launches cancer awareness corporate training workshops
The ongoing implications of COVID-19 has created increased awareness among employers of their responsibility to support employees’ health and wellbeing, including cancer related challenges. As leading providers of practical and emotional support for people living with cancer, Cancer Support UK has developed a series of workshops to help employers communicate about cancer in the workplace.
“Cancer Coach sessions healed my soul and brought me back to the person I was before the cancer. To an even better version of me.” Tara’s Cancer Coach story
Tara’s surgery and treatment for her breast cancer took place during lockdown, which meant no-one was allowed to attend appointments with her. Afterwards, she felt frustrated and sad, as friends and family were unable to understand what she was going through. Luckily she found the support of Cancer Coach and has never looked back.
“It was helpful to discover that my post cancer worries were experienced by other men – none of us were alone in our fears.” Frank’s Cancer Coach story
Frank’s cancer journey has involved not only overcoming his own bowel cancer, but also coming to terms with close family’s experience with the disease. Cancer Coach has helped Frank move forwards and face the future positively.
“Having someone to listen to me and provide guidance helped me come to terms with my cancer experience.” – Lorraine’s story
“Having someone to listen to me and provide guidance was essential in helping me come to terms with everything. I thank Cancer UK for being there for me through this journey. You have made a huge difference.
Share your payday happiness by making a regular donation to Cancer Support UK through Payroll Giving
In these uncertain times UK charities need help now, more than ever. Regular donations through Payroll Giving are one of the easiest ways to support Cancer Support UK.
In memory of Anna James
It is with deep sadness that we inform you about the passing of Anna James, Cancer Support UK’s former Head of Service, who was a highly valued and much respected staff member from 2019 to 2021.
‘Cuddles’ the bear delivers bedtime warmth to Tiernan
A surprise Easter visitor to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, in the shape of a cuddly warmable ted, lends a comforting paw to three year old cancer patient Tiernan
Before I started my Cancer Coach course l felt isolated – Hazel’s story
“Through Cancer Coach I met other women with similar experiences to myself. We were all able to have a good laugh together, despite having different kinds of outcomes.”
“The first session was extremely emotional for all of us. I don’t think you realise how much you keep pent up inside.” – Linda C’s story
“If you have an opportunity to join Cancer Coach, my message is do it. Because afterwards you will feel that a load has been taken off your shoulders.” Linda, 64, who has endured and overcome several types of cancer.
“My Cancer Coach was an absolute delight and, for the first time in a long while, I felt better.” – Sabine’s story
“Each session gave me strength and reason to carry on. The fact that we could discuss sensitive issues with each other, without being judged, felt empowering. The whole atmosphere was relaxed, empathetic and helpful, as we all supported and learned from each other.
“The impact of cancer as it enters your life is like a tsunami” – Sumitra’s story
Seven years ago Sumitra was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. She is now a volunteer with Cancer Support UK’s Cancer Coach programme and uses her experience to help people who have completed their physical cancer treatment. “Everyone’s journey is unique and there is no normality – simply the new normal from having cancer.”
“The Kids Kit that Esmé received from Cancer Support UK was a ray of sunshine.” – Esme’s story
It was during the most difficult period of her treatment, when she was spending days and nights in hospital, that Esmé received her Kids’ Kit.
According to her mum, Wendy, it put a huge smile on Esme’s face, which gave the rest of the family a positive boost:
“It was absolutely amazing. Other people who have gone through the same things know how you feel.” – Lucy’s story
“I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again because it’s made such a difference. I’d recommend Cancer Coach to anybody who is feeling a bit isolated with their situation and wants to talk about it. You don’t always want to feel like a burden to your family and friends who haven’t had cancer – sometimes they don’t really understand.”
“Being able to talk to others who really understood was life changing” – Jo Wilkes’ story
“The group I was part of were women of similar ages and by the end of the first session, I felt the loneliness lift. They had the same fears, they struggled with the same feelings, they had the same anger and we talked this through honestly and openly. The relief to hear others had the same thoughts was therapeutic and I looked forward to every session after that.”
Gemma Holding to leave Cancer Support UK after six years as CEO
Cancer Support UK Chief Executive Gemma Holding has announced that she will leave the charity at the end of February 2022.
“It felt like there was nothing left. Then I found Cancer Coach.” – Julie G’s story
“I felt that once you finished treatment that was it, nothing, zero, on your own to figure it out. Thankfully Cancer Support UK was available.”
Cuddles with her teds mean so much to Sayuri
Sayuri’s mum, Ichika, believes that Sayuri’s soft toys are not just for comfort and fun: “She plays hospital with them, which helps her process her experiences.
“I can’t thank Cancer Support UK enough” – John’s story
“I think that sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference and the Chemo Kit has definitely done that. By championing such a great initiative, I hope that it will benefit others going through a similar experience to myself or even just those fighting the varying degrees of different cancers.”
“My Chemo Kit made me feel that somebody cared” – Imelda’s story
“It was filled with lots of useful things that really made a difference. It can be quite isolating when you’re diagnosed because suddenly it feels like it’s just you, but knowing there was support out there really helped and made me feel that somebody cared.”
Chemo Kit to the rescue
When someone has been diagnosed with cancer, there is an overwhelming amount of information to absorb and process in what can seem a very short window of time. When treatment such as chemotherapy starts, there are many things you need to think of in terms of your own physical comfort.
“I found Cancer Coach on the web and thought this is perfect for me.” – Vicky PD’s story
“That weekly session was so helpful, talking to strangers who became new friends, who knew exactly what I was going through, was brilliant. We cried and laughed and came out the other side with good coping skills and tools to help us deal with any issues that may arise.”
Cancer Coach tips for coping at Christmas
Whether you are still receiving treatment for cancer or have completed treatment and are facing
Audrey’s Christmas bear is a firm favourite
“Audrey’s Warmies teddy bear has brought her much needed comfort when she is feeling a bit down or just tired. She particularly likes that she can warm it up in the microwave to give him a cuddle. The scent is amazing and very calming too.”
A cuddly bear helps Link face Christmas in hospital
Link loves his new bear from Cancer Support UK, which can be warmed up to help soothe and comfort him. The soft and cuddly ted provides stress and anxiety relief and is perfectly weighted to provide a calming and positive sensory experience.
Bear hugs for Jake when he needs them most
“Jake was so excited when he unwrapped Charlie – he wrapped him up in his blanket straightaway. He has already come in very useful when Jake had a cold. We heated Charlie up and popped him into bed beside him.”
It’s love at first sight when Mara meets a special bear
“Mara is completely in love with Charlie Bear and can’t stop stroking him. Recently she’s been struggling to sleep so his gorgeous lavender scent is a very welcome addition to her bed. Thank you to Cancer Support UK, there’s very little that beats seeing that smile!”
“Omarni loves his teddy as it’s so soft and cuddly” – Omarni’s story
“The cuddly toy provided by Cancer Support UK last Christmas is wonderful. Omarni loves his teddy as it’s so soft and cuddly. It can be heated in a microwave, so we use it throughout autumn and winter for lovely warming snuggles.”
“Courage and smiles throughout her treatment.” – Jodie’s story
“Jodie is four months into her maintenance treatment stage, which continues until February 2023. Every one in four months we visit John Radcliffe hospital where she has a lumbar puncture, she’s so brave and takes it all in her stride.” Cancer Support UK sent Jodie a Warmies bear to say well done for being so brave.
“It’s a mystery to me why more men don’t take the opportunity to talk.” Martin Bird’s blog
“Cancer Coach helped me come to terms with my issues and to be confident about the rest of my life. I thought maybe I could use my experience to help others.”
“I would recommend Cancer Coach support groups to anyone who wants to be helped with their recovery.” – Ian’s story
“Although I am naturally an optimist, the programme helped me feel more confident about the future. It provided me with a good opportunity to review my cancer journey.”
“Thank you so much for my Easter cuddles.” – Bella’s Story
“We are very grateful for Cancer UK’s support in bringing a smile to Bella’s face and helping her to forget what she is going through.”
“We provide techniques that people can take away and try for themselves.” – Dorothy’s Cancer Coach volunteer story
“We provide a safe space where people can reflect, open up, share their feelings and build empathy with others. It’s great to see that people can connect with one another.”
Sharon’s Cancer Coach Story
“I feel like I’ve met friends for life through Cancer Coach support group sessions and I still have that support that I was lacking before I discovered this charity.”
Lucy’s Cancer Coach Story
Lucy’s Cancer Coach Story Lucy was diagnosed with a melanoma in her eye
Louise’s Cancer Coach Story
Louise’s Cancer Coach Story Louise, 55, was diagnosed with breast and lymph node
“Cancer Coach is really useful. People understand your situation more than family and friends.” – Diane’s story
“Following treatment I felt very abandoned. But in Cancer Coach, I never felt like I was being bumped out of the way – people were really considerate and listened to my experiences.”
“Physically, emotionally, mentally, cancer changes you beyond measure.” – Beth’s story
“It’s impossible to understand adapting back to life post-treatment unless you’ve been through it. Physically, emotionally, mentally, cancer changes you beyond measure. Our Cancer Coach group has stayed in touch. We have an incredible bond.”
Five ways to support someone living with cancer
As friends and family, it can sometimes be hard to know how to best care for loved ones as they undergo treatment. Here are some tips on how you can provide emotional and practical support.
Vote and share – we are looking for funding in the Aviva Community Fund
We have applied for the Aviva Community Fund which allows small charities to gain access
CSUK in the news!
Chief executive Gemma Holding said: “Inequalities in health and well-being provision across the UK mean that some patients – based on where they live – have better access to, and receive higher quality health care than others”. Find out more about CSUK with links to news articles about us.
Kids Cancer Kit gets the thumbs up from Isla
Cancer Support UK’s Kids Cancer Kit is a hit with seven-year-old Isla from Northamptonshire. Isla,
Help provide emotional support with a pledge to the Big Give
Cancer Support UK is taking part in the UK’s biggest match funding campaign with the
Linda skydives in memory of her dad Bobby, for CSUK
Linda Brack tells us her story of why she skydived for Cancer Support UK on
Jonny and Dan’s skydive raises £1,135 for Cancer Support UK
Two of our supporters, Jonny and Dan, recently completed skydives for us and raised an
Cancer Support UK Teams Up With Clothes Aid
Cancer Support UK is delighted to announce a new commercial partnership with Clothes Aid, the
Cancer Support UK celebrates with the best in the sector
Last night the Cancer Support UK team had the pleasure of attending the annual Charity
Cancer Support UK announced as double Charity Times Awards finalist
Cancer Support UK has been is shortlisted for two awards at the prestigious Charity Times
Cancer Support UK launches Unique New Service
Cancer Support UK is delighted to launch a new service this month, which isn’t currently
CEO of Cancer Support UK wins ACEVO Award
We are delighted that our CEO, Gemma Holding, has received a prestigious Judges Recognition Award 2016 from ACEVO for ‘brave and inspirational leadership’. ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) represents the UK’s largest network for charity and social enterprise leaders.