Supporting the Growth of Cancer Awareness in the Workplace

A photo of a cancer nurse speaking to a woman about maintaining a healthy lifestyle

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The Cancer Awareness in the Workplace programme works with companies across the UK to support employees to reduce their risk of cancer and take positive action for their health.

The past year has been a time of growth for Cancer Awareness in the Workplace. Historically, the programme was only offered to our corporate partners who are fundraising for us, but over the years we have received lots of other interest. We used this as an opportunity to offer our programme wider, offering companies that aren’t partners of Cancer Research UK the option of commissioning Cancer Awareness in the Workplace for their workforce. This allows us to continue to increase the reach of our important health information.

To aid the growth of the programme, two people affected by cancer were recruited in April 2023 to support the development of the resources and products. This is to ensure the perspective of people affected by cancer is considered in the approach to raising awareness of cancer risk amongst employees enabling the programme to have the biggest impact.

How we involved people affected by cancer in the programme

The two patient representatives, Mary and Andrena, have been involved in 2 areas of the programme:  

1. Members of our Online Advocate Panel

They meet quarterly and work collaboratively with our nurses and health information experts to review resources to help raise awareness of cancer in workplaces, help with idea generation and support the creation and implementation of new products.

Their input helps us to identify what people like about the products, what they don’t like and where there are areas from improvement. Alongside this, they help ensure our resources and content are relevant and reflect real experiences which is hugely valuable. 

2. Co-deliver our Cancer our Cancer Awareness webinars

They also support the live delivery of cancer awareness webinars. Personal stories really bring health messaging to life for people and the team have created two webinars which involve people affected by cancer. One which covers the importance of spotting cancer early, where they share their experience of accessing their GP and share their tips. The other which covers having conversations about cancer and health where they share their cancer experience and the importance of impactful conversations from a patient perspective.

Since supporting on the webinar delivery, the patient representatives have delivered 8 webinars with over 350 employees in attendance. Having patient representatives involved highlights the important health messages through real experience and ensures content is memorable for the attendees.

“It was really great to hear from someone who had been through the process” - webinar attendee.

 The webinars have been, and continue to be, a real success with partners and clients, some have asked for other webinars to involve people affected by cancer.

Patient involvement has been invaluable to the programme and the feedback from employees who have been on a webinar and from the nurses from the advocate panel has been really positive. With the interest from new companies, over the next year patient involvement will continue to enhance the Cancer Awareness in the Workplace programme.