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About us

Who we are

If you have cancer or you’re close to someone who has, it can be frightening and stressful. We can help. We bring treatment, emotional support and practical advice to where it matters most; the heart of your community.

Tenovus Cancer Care is here to help you cope, and through our vital research, we offer hope. We’re the leading cancer charity in Wales and, whenever you need us, we’re here for you. 

Where it all began

In 1943, Tenovus was founded by ten businessmen. Initially, the charity funded a wide range of projects in the local area.

Original Ten Founders

These ranged from building the Sunshine House for Blind Babies just outside Cardiff, to donating a washing machine to a widow with seven children who had lost an arm.

In the 1960s, Tenovus embarked on a project which was to influence our work for the next 40 years. We built the Tenovus Institute for Cancer Research in Cardiff which carried out vital research into the causes of cancer.

Since then, we have concentrated our efforts on cancer and are now recognised for our pioneering work.

Our scientists developed the use of Tamoxifen, now used worldwide to treat breast cancer, and Zoladex which treats prostate cancer.

Alongside our ground-breaking research, we have developed a system of cancer support services to help cancer patients and their families, when they need it most, including our Freephone Cancer Support Line (0808 808 1010), which is open 8am - 8pm, 7 days a week.

In 2009, we developed further innovations to the support we offer cancer patients and their families with our Mobile Cancer Support Unit. The Unit was launched at the Celtic Manor in February 2009 and brings cancer care to the heart of the patient's community.

In 2011, we conducted research into the benefits of singing for cancer patients and their families. The results of that study were so positive that we applied for funding to set up more choirs. We were awarded a £1m Big Lottery Grant to set up 15 choirs across Wales and are well on our way.

Following this success, in 2012 we were asked to put together a very special choir, for a Channel 4 documentary 'Sing for your Life'. The documentary featured a choir of cancer patients, created by us, and followed their journey from the very first rehearsal in Cardiff, all the way to the Royal Albert Hall.

2012 also saw the launch of Tenovus Cancer Callback; a world-first service which offers newly diagnosed cancer patients a series of regular calls from an experienced nurse. We also received funding to build a second Mobile Cancer Support Unit to launch in late 2013, which will enable us to treat a further 25 patients every single day.

2013 marked our 70th birthday and we celebrated throughout the year with a number of special events including our 70th Birthday Research Conference and Gala Concert. Take a look back at our birthday year in our round-up video.

We also launched our second Mobile Support Unit in October, which brings lymphoedema treatment closer to home.  

2014 has been just as exciting a year for us. In March we launched another world-first service, in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and Movember; the ManVan. The ManVan brings support to men affected by prostate and testicular cancer in Wales. 

We also launched our 15th Sing with Us choir in Wales, as well as our first in England! We're now supporting around 1000 people affected every week through our choirs. 

And to round the year off, we announced some really exciting news! In 2013 and 2014, we spent time looking at our how well people knew who we were and what we did, as well as our brand. We want to support even more people affected by cancer so we decided it was something we needed to look into. After a lot of research and work, we launched a refreshed brand and a new name; Tenovus Cancer Care.