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Macmillan Cancer Support

Presented by: Professor Frank Sanderson

Honorable Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting Macmillan Cancer Support for the Corporate Award of Liverpool John Moores University.  

"Cancer is on the increase in the UK. A threefold increase since 1980, over a million have had a cancer diagnosis, and over 30 percent of us will be diagnosed at some point in our lives." 

Whether we are sufferers, carers, family members, friends or colleagues, the message is that cancer inevitably touches all of us in some way. Macmillan Cancer Support exists to improve the lives of everyone affected by cancer by providing practical, emotional, medical and financial support.  

Almost 100 years ago Douglas Macmillan was so affected by his father's death from cancer that he founded the 'Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer'. What he wanted was information and advice for all cancer sufferers and their carers, and voluntary nurses to support people in their homes.

  1. In 1930 the first paid member of staff was appointed 
  2. In the 1970s the first Macmillan nurses were funded and the first Macmillan cancer care unit was built  
  3. In the 1980s the Macmillan nursing teams were expanded and the first Macmillan doctor appointed  
  4. In the late 90s, the Macmillan National Institute of Education was established for training specialist cancer care professionals
  5. In 2006, the charity changed its name from Macmillan Cancer Relief to Macmillan Cancer Support to reflect the changing needs of people with cancer  

Macmillan's approach is to care not just for the disease but for the whole person, and also to care for others affected by the disease, with the objective of these services becoming mainstream across the country. They make a point of using the unique knowledge and experience of people with cancer and their carers to improve their work in meeting the many different needs of every single person affected by cancer.  

In the 21st Century, progress continues, and an indication of the impact of Macmillan Cancer Support is provided by statistics from 2007: Over 400,000 people were helped to cope with the physical and emotional effects of cancer by over 4,500 Macmillan nurses, and other Macmillan health and social care professionals.

Macmillan Grants totalling around £9 million were given to over 24,000 people, and they helped obtain over £10 million in additional benefits for people with cancer. The Benefits Helpline staff helped over 7,000 people secure £11 million in extra benefits.

39,000 people were given advice and information through CancerLine and many more through information and support centres, including two mobile Cancer Information Centres. 

1.4 million people visited Macmillan's website with many of them using the Share section of the website to give and receive support from other people affected by cancer. 

1300 people were helped by cancer self help and support groups Effective political lobbying and awareness-raising improved the circumstances of people with cancer and combatted discrimination.   

At the heart of Macmillan Cancer Support is the work of the nurses who are specially trained to support people when they are first diagnosed and throughout their illness. They can be community or hospital based, and typically they are employed by the NHS, with their posts initially being funded by Macmillan. 

Their role is to help people make informed decisions about their treatment, and guide them through the complex array of different services. They can also help sufferers cope with the side effects of treatment and other symptoms by providing critical psychological and emotional support.  

Millions of people have reason to be grateful for the foresight of Douglas Macmillan all those years ago. 

Today, Macmillan Cancer Support is a vital part of cancer support in the UK, making a vital contribution to the improvement of treatment, care and information for those affected by cancer. 

And we wish to acknowledge this contribution with one of our highest awards.   

It is thus with great pleasure that we invite Regional Director Maureen Rutter to receive on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support the Corporate Award from Liverpool John Moores University.