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About us

If you have cancer or you’re close to someone who has, it can be frightening and stressful. We can help.

Our vision:

We want a future that gives anyone affected by cancer, in Wales and beyond, the best access to the treatment and support they need. A future that reduces the impact of cancer, gives people hope and helps them to live their best lives.

Our mission:

To give hope, help and a voice to anyone affected by cancer, in and around the community. We empower people through our support and services. We champion their needs by campaigning for better treatments, outcomes and health across the nation. And we bring hope through influencing and working for advances in cancer research.

Our aims:

We have four strategic aims for the organisation for the next three years.

Aim1: To provide cancer support, information and services that empower and encourage people, helping them to have an improved quality of life.

Aim 2: To work alongside people affected by cancer to champion their needs, raise awareness of the issues faced and campaign to bring about change, at a national and community level.

Aim 3: To gain insight into the issues affecting people with cancer and to help make sure cancer research positively affects cancer outcomes and experiences.

Aim 4: To be an effective, resourceful, proactive charity where every staff member and volunteer is dedicated to the work we do in supporting people affected by cancer

Our achievements 2019/20

In what was a challenging year for the charity, and the third sector as a whole, we have continued to drive change, fund research and support cancer patients and their loved ones, making them the centre of everything we do.

It is, and has always been our mission to bring help and support to cancer patients and their families. In 2019 we expanded our fleet of Mobile Support Units with the launch of a fourth unit. These units bring treatments closer to home and provide them in a more relaxed setting. And in Wales our units delivered over 4,100 chemotherapy, immunotherapy and lymphoedema treatments.

This year also marked the ten year anniversary of our Sing with Us choirs and they continue to support around 1,350 people affected by cancer every week.

Our nurse-led Support Line was once again open every day this year and, through our proactive Cancer Callback Service, we’ve seen our nurses handle over 3,600 outbound calls. In addition, our Benefits and Debt Advice Team provided financial support to over 2,700 people, securing over £4 million worth of benefits.

During 2019/20 we have continued to fund innovative and ground-breaking cancer research and in 2019/20 we invested a further £320,000 in new research projects.

We were also pleased to announce the launch of our new policy manifesto ‘More than Medicine: our ideas for the next Welsh Government’.  We will use this manifesto to influence Government, so that the voice of people affected by cancer is heard loud and clear.

Of course, all of our work would not be possible without our amazing people. As well as working hard to achieve our aims, our supporters, volunteers and staff helped us raise nearly £8.7 million. Find out more about our impact in our annual Supporter Review.

COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on the charity and these are unprecedented times, which are having an effect on us all. However, this won’t stop us doing everything we can to help ensure that Tenovus Cancer Care brings hope and support to cancer patients and their families, both now and in the future.

Our history

The Original Ten

In 1943, Tenovus was founded by ten businessmen, D.R. Edwards, C.Harris, G. Brinn, C.E. Rolfe, D.Curitz, G.T. Addis, T.J.E. Price, H. Thomas, H.E. Gosling and T.Curitz. Initially, the charity funded a wide range of projects in the local area.

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 free Support Line (0808 808 1010), which is open 365 days a year.

In 2009, we developed further innovations to the support we offer cancer patients and their families with our Mobile 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 2013 we launched our second Unit in which is dedicated to the treatment, support and care of lymphoedema, a condition often caused by cancer treatment. In 2018 and 2019 we launched our third and fourth Units respectively.

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 Sing with Us choirs across Wales.

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.

In 2014 we worked in partnership with Prostate Cancer UK and Movember to launch the ManVan. The ManVan brought support to men affected by prostate and testicular cancer in Wales. In 2014 we also launched our 15th Sing with Us choir in Wales, as well as our first in England!

At the end of 2014, following lots of research and work, we launched a refreshed brand and a new name; Tenovus Cancer Care. Our aim is for more people to know who we are and what we do, so we can support even more people affected by cancer.

In 2015 we celebrated 50 years of cancer research as well as the end of our Big Lottery choir funding. We held a huge choir celebration where all 16 of our Sing with Us choirs performed.

We also undertook a research study with the Royal College of Music in London to see if singing in one of our choirs has biological effects. The results of this study were fantastic and we announced our ‘More than Singing‘ research in 2016. The next step of this study was to launch two new choirs in London to help investigate the positive effects of choirs for people with cancer further, and we’ve recently received the exciting results.

In 2018 we celebrated our 75th birthday and our incredible history of life-saving research and innovative support services. In all those years we’ve never lost the values established by our founders in 1943, and continue to embrace a sense of community in everything we do.

Keep up-to-date with our latest news by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook.

Contact Us

Contact us on 029 2076 8850 for all donation, fundraising, administration or other business enquiries. You can also email us on info@tenovuscancercare.org.uk. If you have a specific enquiry, you can contact any of our teams directly.

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There’s something special about working at Tenovus Cancer Care. Perhaps it’s to do with the fact we all know we’re working towards something amazing. We're a community, a family, and we'd love you to be one of us!

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