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#SmokefreeUK: Millions of lives are in their hands 

Smoking is still the biggest cause of cancer and preventable death in the UK. We’ve made progress, but the UK Government must do more to make the UK smokefree. It’s time we lose the tobacco and gain a better future.

The UK needs smokefree action to help make sure young people don’t start smoking, and smokefree funding to help people quit.

To make the UK smokefree, the UK Government must:
Stop the start. Create measures to prevent young people from smoking.
Start the stop. Fund public health campaigns and stop smoking services to help people quit smoking

Deadline to request: Friday 2 September 2022
Time to act: 20 – 30 minute meeting plus time to prepare

Skills: Relationship building, influencing, storytelling

SmokefreeUK campaign creative. Tobacco packet reads We've made progress but the UK Government must do more

Your current campaign action

In October, join us in highlighting Stoptober – a month-long period of support and encouragement to quit smoking.

Often, one of the main obstacles to quitting smoking is confidence. Help us to show that a smokefree life is within reach by encouraging people who smoke to quit, to have a plan and stick to it.

Ways to get involved

Deadline: 31 October | Time To Act: 15-20 minutes Skills: Social media, relationship building, written communications

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Politics across the UK

Britain is home to one of the oldest governments in the world - the Palace of Westminster has been a centre of power for over 900 years. Visit the UK Parliament website and you'll learn that nobody set out to create Parliament. It developed naturally out of the daily political needs of the English King and his government. 

In the 21st century, how politics defines our lives depends on where we live. Find out more about politics in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland below.

This section is in development - for now please follow these links to learn more.

In Northern Ireland over 9,520 people are diagnosed with cancer each year – more than 26 people every day. Cancer survival is improving, with 56% of patients surviving for five years or more, however survival in Northern Ireland still lags behind other comparable countries around the world.

Health is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland. This means decisions about health policy are made by the Northern Ireland Executive and the Northern Ireland Assembly. That is why we work closely alongside the Executive, Assembly, Department of Health, Health and Social Care (HSC) Board, Public Health Agency (PHA) and Health and Social Care Trusts to ensure cancer remains a priority in Northern Ireland.

Our Campaigns Ambassadors in Northern Ireland are a critical part of that effort as they influence MLAs and other government stakeholders to support policies that help beat cancer.

Follow @CRUK_NorthernIreland on Twitter

Cancer remains Scotland’s biggest killer. While notable progress has been made in improving survival rates, the incidence of cancer continues to grow. There are also major and persistent health inequalities in Scotland, with people from less well-off communities, for example, typically presenting later for treatment and dying earlier.

Health is a devolved matter in Scotland. This means decisions about health policy are made by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament. That is why we work closely alongside the Scottish Government and the 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), advising on cancer and research issues and campaigning for prevention measures and early detection services.

Our Campaigns Ambassadors in Scotland are a critical part of that effort as they influence MSPs and other government stakeholders to support policies that help beat cancer.

Follow @CRUKScotland on Twitter


Every year around 19,500 people in Wales are diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to research, cancer survival in Wales is improving, with 58.5% of people surviving their cancer for five years or more. Yet there is still more to be done to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people survive their cancer by 2034.  

We work with MSs within the Senedd to keep cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care among Wales’ top public policy priorities. 

Our Campaigns Ambassadors in Wales are a critical part of that effort as they influence MSs to support policies that help beat cancer. That’s why we want to involve you in our Senedd Campaigns, to make sure cancer is a top priority for the Welsh Government.  

Welsh Government’s Upcoming plans: 

A National Cancer Plan: Currently the Welsh Government are drafting a plan to improve cancer services in Wales. This is something we have been calling for, due to Wales being the only nation without a Cancer strategy. Cancer Research UK wants to ensure the plan addresses the big issues Wales experiences with waiting times, early diagnosis, and access to the best and most effective treatments.  We believe this plan needs to be ambitious and properly funded to address staff shortages and transform cancer services for the future. With help from our ambassadors, we can scrutinise the plan to ensure it achieves its purpose, improving cancer services for all in Wales. 

Price promotions on junk foods: Prevention plays a significant part of improving cancer diagnosis rates. As such, we are pleased to see the Welsh Government’s plans to introduce price promotions on foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. This is due to be a big part of Welsh Government’s new obesity plans, something we are very supportive of. We know there may be concerns around the impact of these proposed changes. However, evidence, shows that price promotions actually lead to shoppers spending more than they intended to and increasing their consumption of foods high in fat, salt and sugar. We are aware of potential opposition to this legislation within the Senedd, and it is with our Ambassadors' help we can ensure this legislation passes and improves obesity rates in Wales. 

Wales becoming smokefree: We welcome plans for Wales to become ‘smokefree’ by 2030 (i.e., less than 5% of people smoking), and will be working within the Senedd and in collaboration with our ambassadors to ensure plans are delivered to make it a reality.  

Follow @CRUKCymru on Twitter

Cancer Research UK connects with Ministers, Parliamentarians and Civil Servants in Westminster, as well as local decision makers across England to support them to address cancer in their communities.

Our policy experts, researchers and clinicians provide expert evidence to parliamentary committees, All Party Parliamentary Groups and public inquiries. They also help us frame responses to key government departments and other relevant public consultations.

We campaign nationally on policy issues to beat cancer through the NHS in England, from screening to early diagnosis and access to treatments. Through local government, we campaign to support the implementation of our national priorities on prevention, in particular on stop smoking services.


Keep learning...

How does Cancer Research UK campaign? We work with all our supporters, political representatives and policymakers to prioritise cancer over a range of areas including prevention, early diagnosis and treatments. Find out more about CRUK’s policy areas and messages.

How can I learn more about what is going on locally? Get to know your local cancer stats. Additionally, it helps to know what Cancer Research UK is doing in your area. Find out if there is a fundraising group, shop, Cancer Awareness Roadshow or Race for Life near you.

How can I more meaningful conversations with people about cancer? As a representative of Cancer Research UK, family, friends and the public might ask you questions about cancer. Learn more about how to have conversations about cancer via our free online course.

Ambassadors campaigning on an iPad


Developing yourself

Your personal reflection record is a helpful guide and place for you to log your objective, learnings, skills and achievements from your time volunteering.

Whether you've been campaigning with us for 10 years or 10 minutes, this pack was designed for you. Add to your skills builder pack directly from your device or print for a paper copy - it's up to you!



Researching policies and your political representatives is a key part of campaigning. Learn how to use online resources to personalise your asks and familiarise yourself with current affairs.
Level: Basic
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Social Media

Many Campaigns Ambassadors use social media to build support for our campaigns and publicise their actions. Access our guide to learn how to appeal to your online networks.
Level: Intermediate
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Meeting an MP

Campaigns Ambassadors frequently meet in person with their MPs to discuss the key points of our campaigns. Access our top tips guide to build confidence and prepare for your next meeting.
Level: Advanced
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Contact Us



Your story is your most powerful tool to influence policy! Explore our guidance to learn how to communicate why beating cancer is cause you are personally passionate about.
Level: Basic
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Petitions are one of the many tools we use to let government know how the public feels about a certain issue. Learn more about to collect petition signatures and how to build support for our cause.
Level: Intermediate
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Public Speaking

There may be opportunities to tell your story and advocate for change in a public forum. Learn more about how to use your voice to educate and inspire audiences to act.
Level: Advanced
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Campaigns Ambassadors often write letters and emails to decision makers on various issues. Learn how to use your written voice to tell your story and convince others to act.
Level: Basic
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Email Campaigning

As a Campaigns Ambassador, you are a public advocate for policies that work to beat cancer once and for all. Learn how to advance your campaign goals by emailing your MP.
Level: Intermediate
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Relationship Building

The stronger your relationship with political representatives, the stronger your campaigning! Learn how to identify stakeholders and start connecting with those in government.
Level: Advanced
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Learn more by visiting the Cancer Research UK Volunteer Hub.

Not what you expected? Pause or end your role as a Campaigns Ambassador.