Walk the Walk is the largest grant making breast cancer charity in the UK. Being a grant making charity means that everybody taking part in our challenges is raising money for Walk the Walk and we then grant the funds to other charities and organisations so that they can reach their goals and ambitions.
Together with the Charity’s Trustees all the applications that are received are carefully considered in order to meet Walk the Walk’s policy of supporting research into breast cancer, the future health of us all, to help improve the lives of those who have cancer now and for prevention, by encouraging women and men to start walking as a way of getting fitter and which we now know plays its part in cancer prevention.
Our ethos is to limit the amount of organisations we support and consequently we are able to make larger grants. This helps them to achieve their aims more quickly. Over the past 19 years millions and millions of pounds have been granted to support a variety of organisations.
We have granted millions of pounds to Breakthrough Breast Cancer (now merged with Breast Cancer Campaign to form Breast Cancer Now) for a wide range of specific projects. This includes The Generation Study, the first study of its kind that is following the lives of 100,000 people over a period of 40 years. It has already revealed ground breaking information. Most importantly we are currently supporting vital research into secondary cancers of which little is known. Breakthrough now carry out research in centres all over the country, however their core work is held at the Toby Robins Research Centre in London which houses over 120 scientists and clinicians.
Since 2000 Walk the Walk has also granted millions of pounds Penny Brohn UK in Bristol (The Bristol Centre at the time), knowing that supporting those that have cancer now was as important as supporting research for our future. The grants have helped the charity to move into a new home and to also set up their ground breaking Helpline. Further grants now allow patients to have all treatments free of charge. The money has also helped a pilot study to take the special support that the centre offers to other parts of the country with their Living Well Courses which means even more people to benefit from their approach to cancer and much more.
The charity has also granted money to Breast Cancer Campaign,(now merged with Breakthrough Breast Cancer to form Breast Cancer Now) to help set up their Breast Cancer Tissue Bank, the first of its kind in the world and giving research scientists access to good quality tissue. Breast Cancer Campaign is a community of scientists dedicated to research and supporters affected by breast cancer. They have now merged with Breakthrough Breast Cancer and a new charity which will become one of the largest breast cancer charities in Europe has been formed.
The Haven, provides free emotional, physical and practical support to those with breast cancer, including complimentary therapies, counselling, nutritional advice, exercise classes and financial advice. Grants from Walk the Walk have enabled The Haven to secure a firm footing at their London branch which in turn has allowed them to expand their services and reach to more cancer patients in Leeds, Hereford and Wessex.
Most of the money that is raised in Scotland stay in Scotland and is granted to help those with cancer now. To date Walk the Walk has helped Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres who are manned by cancer support specialists, benefits advisers, nutritionists and psychologists, to give all round support to cancer patients going through their treatment. To date we have supported Maggie’s in building a new Centre at Gartnavel in Glasgow, and a further Centre is being built in Falkirk. We have also contributed to a centre in Lanark and have helped the charity to build an online community.
Walk the Walk has also granted funds to several major projects at the Breast Cancer Institute at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. These include renovating the breast ward and the Mammography unit, as well as building a new operating theatre.
Within our own unique project, Walk the Walk is also committed to providing funding to hospitals across the UK to purchase Scalp Cooling equipment. Scalp Coolers are special machines which are helping many people undergoing chemotherapy to retain their hair. Over the last 8 years Walk the Walk has provided over £8.5 million in grants to NHS Trusts and hospitals across the UK in order for all hospitals to be able to offer this treatment. Each grant comes with 5 years of training and maintenance of equipment. Most importantly, they are helping to remove the postcode lottery of this treatment, with the aim of making it available to all; currently we have over 640 machines in over 275 hospitals.
Every year Walk the Walk contract many companies and services to help us create our events. Since 2014 many of our contractors having been donating funds each time we use them to contribute towards the Walk the Walk Contractors and Service Providers Scalp Cooler. The generosity of these companies means that later this year we will have raised enough funding to purchase a scalp cooler for Pembury Hospital in Kent.
Each year an amount of funding is set aside to support small charities that are having a big effect. Amongst the many organisations that we have supported Cardiff-based cancer charity Tenovus, received funding for a new Mobile Cancer Support Unit which takes chemotherapy, and lymphatic drainage out to cancer patients living in the more rural areas of Wales.
A grant has also been given to the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity for services at its centre in London. The centres provide support, counselling and complimentary therapies to people living with cancer and their partners or carers.
The highly acclaimed The Christie Hospital is home to the award winning Complimentary Therapy Unit, which has also benefited from Walk the Walk grants.
Other grants made include Cancer Kin, to help women living in the east end of London. FACT helping cancer patients in the north east, AUCS a pilot study to look at the creation of a new and much improved catheter and the most recent, Medical Detection Dogs, Walk the Walk has just funded a pilot study to investigate if dogs that can already smell cancers, can distinguish breast cancer from other types of cancer. This is a very exciting study, if it is successful, it could prove instrumental in helping to detect breast cancers at very early stages in a quick and economical way.