Leading organisations unite to create a new charity for everyone affected by breast cancer

Leading charities, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now, have today announced their intention to merge in Spring 2019 to create a charity for everyone affected by breast cancer.

The merger next year will create a new charity, united by the shared ambition that, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live and be supported to live well.

The new charity will provide specialist support and information for those living with the physical and emotional impact of breast cancer, as well as funding world-class research to improve prevention, detection, treatment and care and campaigning for better and equal NHS services for all those affected by the disease.

In bringing together the charities’ combined heritage, passion, expertise, funds and networks, the merger will connect the UK’s largest breast cancer research community with the UK’s largest breast cancer support community – to speak with one clear voice for those affected by the disease.

Breast cancer remains the UK’s most common cancer, with around 55,000 women and 350 men diagnosed with the disease each year.

While more people are surviving the disease than ever before thanks to research advances and improvements in NHS care, around 11,500 women and 80 men still lose their lives each year in the UK – and this is projected to rise amid increasing incidence. Almost all deaths from the disease are attributable to the development of metastatic (or ‘secondary’) breast cancer, which remains incurable.

By building on and harnessing the significant advances both organisations have made, the new charity will be able to drive greater and faster progress for those affected by the disease.

The Chair of the new charity will be Jill Thompson, currently a Trustee and Treasurer for Breast Cancer Care. Both Boards of Trustees are delighted to appoint Delyth Morgan, currently CEO at Breast Cancer Now, as CEO Designate for the new charity, after Samia al Qadhi decided to step down as Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care, following 25 years of dedicated service and progress for people affected by breast cancer. Samia will remain CEO of Breast Cancer Care until 31st March 2019 and during this time will continue to work with Delyth to ensure the merger is a huge success.

Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now will continue operating as separate organisations as they prepare to merge.

The current Chairs of both charities, Lynne Berry, Chair of Breast Cancer Now, and Emma Burns, Chair of Breast Cancer Care, will step down at the point of merger in April 2019.

The new Board of Trustees will consist of six trustees from each existing Board; Mark Astaire, Barbara Brown, Sonia Gayle, Marion Lewis, Andrew Moore, Trevor Powles, Adrian Harris, Sue Gallone, Ann Pickering, Chris Copeland and Pascale Alvanitakis Guely. At least one third of the new Board has a personal experience of breast cancer.

The new Senior Leadership Team will be appointed to lead the new charity in the coming months.

Jill Thompson, Trustee and Treasurer for Breast Cancer Care, and Chair of the new charity, said:

“More women are being diagnosed with breast cancer than ever before, and there are well over half-a-million people living with the devastating impact of the disease. Despite the enormous progress made by both charities, the challenge that lies ahead in breast cancer is unprecedented. This merger is a bold and exciting opportunity to rise to this challenge, together, and make a significant difference to the millions affected – providing support for today and hope for the future.

“Delyth will be a tremendous CEO of the new charity. Her vast experience and passion for advocating for those affected by breast cancer, will help us drive forward the new charity’s ambition that by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live and receive the support they need to live well. Delyth will play a pivotal role in helping to define, establish, lead and inspire the vital work of the new charity and we look forward to seeing the pioneering work of the organisation under her leadership.”

Emma Burns, Chair of Breast Cancer Care, said:

“Both charities simply could not have achieved all that we have for those affected by breast cancer without the dedication and generosity of our supporters, many with experience of the devastating disease. We hope the new charity will inspire the continued, determined support we need to help people deal with the impact of breast cancer, and to fund the world-class research that will give much-needed hope for the future.

“Samia al Qadhi has made an extraordinary contribution as CEO of Breast Cancer Care over the last 25 years. Thanks to her dedication, leadership and commitment to driving change for people affected by breast cancer, hundreds of thousands of women have received better care and support following the life-changing diagnosis.”

Lynne Berry, Chair of Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Merging now to create one, comprehensive charity for everyone affected by breast cancer is undeniably the right thing to do for those affected by the disease. Together, we’ll be a stronger charity to influence and drive progress further, with a united community and one clear voice for everyone affected by breast cancer, now and in the future.

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jill as Chair of the new charity. Jill brings a wealth of experience and expert leadership during this time of change, as well as determination to make a difference to the lives of those affected by breast cancer.”

Delyth Morgan, current Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, and CEO Designate of the new charity, said:

“This merger is a once in a lifetime chance to unite two leading charities to make greater and faster progress for everyone affected by breast cancer. With incidence rising, inequalities in care remaining, and over eleven thousand families torn apart by metastatic breast cancer every year in the UK, we need to do much, much more – and we need to do it now.

“It will be a great honour to lead the new charity; a role which is both professionally, and personally, very important to me. As the UK’s first comprehensive breast cancer charity, we will be driven forward by collaboration, ambition and – most importantly – the passion of our supporters and partners, who will remain at the heart of the new organisation.

“By joining forces, we’ll do everything we can to make the research breakthroughs that will give women more time to live and to ensure everyone affected by the disease has the support and care they need. We look forward, with great hope, to taking this exciting step together.”

Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Care, said:

“Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now have both made incredible advances and we firmly believe now is the time to unite as one charity for everyone affected by breast cancer and rise to the huge challenge of the disease together.

“I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved for people affected by this life-changing disease over Breast Cancer Care’s 45 years. Uniting will now make it possible to reach a future sooner where everyone affected by breast cancer lives and receives the support they need to live well.

“Delyth brings incredible passion and expertise and will be a wonderful leader of the new charity to, importantly, speak with one clear voice for people affected by breast cancer, both now and in future.”

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