Every year 41,000 people are diagnosed and 16,000 people die from a disease that is preventable, treatable and curable. Bowel cancer causes fear, grief and suffering and it is ripping families apart across the UK. Children are growing up without a parent, people are struggling with gruelling life altering treatment and lives are being cut short. It’s time it was stopped.
That’s why I am delighted that Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer have decided to merge. We achieve a lot on our own as separate charities but I strongly believe that we can do much more together and it will be my huge privilege to lead the merged charity in this next phase of our development.
By creating the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity, we are determined to save lives, improve the quality of life and support all those affected by bowel cancer.
We believe that by streamlining our operations, we can create a strong ambitious confident organisation with a clear goal – to ensure that by 2050 no one dies of bowel cancer. Our pledge will be bold, stretching and inspiring. Within 10 years, we will transform survival rates, from only one in every two people surviving over five years, to three out of four people surviving bowel cancer. We will work to ensure that screening is optimal with more cancers being detected early or prevented and there will be better care for every patient. We will achieve this through four key pillars of activity: research, patient services, education and policy and campaigns.
Specifically, we will stimulate and fund research in areas that we have already identified through our critical gaps in bowel cancer research initiative as key to improving outcomes for people with bowel cancer. We will also help to capacity build in key areas such as surgery, so we build the UK’s research capacity and identify and support the research leaders of tomorrow.
For those struggling with the disease right now, we will develop a strong range of services for them so that they can access the information and support they need to make key decisions about their treatment and to feel more confident and less alone. We are committed to being there for everyone affected by bowel cancer at each step of their journey.
Through our education and training programmes, we will transform awareness of the disease so that no longer is bowel cancer hidden away, unknown, unrecognised and able to cause havoc in people’s lives. Instead people will know and act upon the symptoms and clinicians will be empowered and enabled to make the best clinical decisions.
We will also continue to engage in strategic policy activity and to campaign to drive positive change for and with people with bowel cancer.
Together, we at Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK are determined to change the statistics and to knock this disease off the second biggest cancer killer slot and look forward to the day when no one dies of bowel cancer. Ultimately our work will be about ensuring that people’s hopes for a life free from bowel cancer are realised.
Of course we can’t do this alone. We need your help and support. We need people to take action and get involved. The first step is to sign up to hear from us and then we can share with you opportunities to help – whether that’s becoming an awareness volunteer, a digital champion, a forum facilitator, an information reviewer or a fundraiser. We need to build a strong community of like-minded individuals to ensure that we realise our ambitions.
Together, we at Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK are determined to be more tomorrow than we are today and to find ways of increasing our impact and reach so in the future we really can STOP bowel cancer. Join us.
For more information about bowel cancer please visit: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk and www.beatingbowelcancer.org. If you are experiencing symptoms and feel concerned,you can speak to a nurse on: 020 8973 0011 or visit our online forum.