No Technology Can Replace Human Engagement!

No Technology Can Replace Human Engagement!

In recent weeks I have been busy giving presentations to organisations interested in the work of our charity Your simPal.  Wherever I go, without fail I am approached by people who want to talk about someone they know and their experiences. Cancer is finally not so much the ‘elephant in the room’ and people are now more comfortable talking about it. As well as talking face to face, we are now approached regularly via our Freephone line by people who just want to talk. During the last few weeks I have been supporting some good friends of ours who have just retired but both have been diagnosed with cancer within months of each other. They have become confused and angry as nobody has taken the time with them to actually talk. Not

Independent Cancer Support Needs A Voice Too!

Independent Cancer Support Needs A Voice Too!

It seems that we are now finally entering the summer season, and I make no apologies for refreshing the below post which I wrote 3 years ago!  This is yet another example of the ‘cancer charity cartel’ that exists. Such an incredible support service for people affected by cancer, rarely even mentioned by most large cancer charities, as it is independent and not on brand. Unfortunately nothing much seems to have changed in that time! “I consider myself very privileged to do the work I do and meet so many wonderful people. The ‘asks’ I receive are varied, but I will only ever consider projects if I can see some tangible results in the short term. So when I was invited to visit  The Grove Hotel in Bournemouth and check out

Is There A Cancer Charity Cartel?

Is There A Cancer Charity Cartel?

Those of you that are regular readers of my blog will know well that I am not a lover of large cancer charities or healthcare organisations.  Simply because, most are run with self interest at the heart, focussing mainly on fundraising and brand awareness. With little or no interest in collaborating or listening to innovative ideas from outside their own brand. This sector is now dominated by the same few names, who have a bulk of the funds to promote themselves more often. They are now the same faces who pop up on our television or in the media, talking about how things should improve. There now exists a cartel of charities which doesn’t listen to what is really going on for people affected by cancer. Many of their ideas

My Motivation!(VIDEO)

My Motivation!(VIDEO)

I wanted to follow last weeks ‘ten year reflection post’ with a little summary of the work I do, how it started and why it exists. As time has gone on, I have been involved in many cancer projects, and spend my days helping and advising people throughout the sector. From patients and carers through to international pharmaceutical companies, I am continually looking at the cancer sector from many perspectives. That said, the same problems still exist, which are poor communication, lack of collaboration, and a complete failure to put the people affected by cancer at the heart of everything that is done in their name. At every professional conference I attend I hear the same comments “the patient talk was the best bit!” Of course it was, as the rest consists

And Ten Years Later!

And Ten Years Later!

” Ok, I have cancer but what can you do?” “We can’t cure you, just manage your disease.” ” How long do I have?” “Unless you are extremely lucky, about 6 months.” So started my entirely unexpected experience with cancer! Incredibly that was ten years ago this year. There have been so many ups and downs, emotions incredibly high then dramatically low, with very little in between. Living between life and death for many of those years, things have really only recently become stable in the last year or so. On reflection I don’t really know how I have got this far, as there were so many times that I just wanted it all to stop. Not just for me but my family too. The raw emotions of thinking things will be

Cancer And Commercial Collaborations

Cancer And Commercial Collaborations

My work means that I am constantly communicating with people around the world, and I find it fascinating the differences that there are from country to country. Today I am delighted to share a piece from my friends at Tommy John, a men’s underwear designer company based in New York, who are working with the Testicular Cancer Foundation to raise awareness of this cancer. This type of collaboration is becoming more common and in many ways is a good thing. However I am personally sceptical that we don’t get to the situation which we have with Breast Cancer, that it is more about selling products and promotion, than raising awareness and producing positive results. Our world is changing rapidly, and in the cancer sector we need to be looking at all opportunities to

Work And Cancer (Jeremy’s Experience.)

Work And Cancer (Jeremy's Experience.)

Today I have the great honour to host another piece from my friend Jeremy, who talks about his own experiences and opinions around work and cancer. “This is some of my reflections on cancer and work. These are personal thoughts, there are plenty of web sites which give official and legal advice. You can read my story here and I have been incredibly fortunate in having a really supportive and helpful employer. I have also been fortunate in having an employer at all — the situation with cancer is much more difficult for those out of work or self employed or where there are a handful of employees. It can be dangerous to generalise from your own experience as each type of cancer is different and every person needs to make their

“I’m Sorry But You Have Womb Cancer”

"I'm Sorry But You Have Womb Cancer"

I have been to another meeting this week, held by individuals working together to support people after a cancer diagnosis. There was so much passion in the room as people shared their personal experiences and expertise, and explained how they planned to expand their work. There was a Q+A after the presentation and a Health Professional asked where the money to support the project was coming from as the N.H.S was in severe financial straits. Personally I am fed up with that being wheeled out time after time, as an excuse not to change things. It has become an easy answer to everything. Actually the facts are that there are some incredible resources for people affected by cancer outside the system. However, despite the financial issues, the N.H.S etc have

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