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Who we are


About us

Tenovus Cancer Care’s ambition is a future where fewer people get cancer, and those that do have equal access to the best treatment and support.

With annual incomes of £9.6m, 250 staff and c.2,000 volunteers, Tenovus Cancer Care funds high quality research into major cancers, provides support to those affected by cancer, and educates the public and health professionals on cancer issues.

Tenovus Cancer Care has cemented its position as a leading and well-respected cancer charity, with a track record of success in helping to improve people’s lives and growing income from its 63 shops in England and Wales, and via funding from donations and other sources.

Tenovus Cancer Care offers cancer patients and their families the following services:

• Mobile Support Units which deliver chemotherapy and lymphoedema treatment, and routine prevention care into local communities. Last year we delivered nearly 5,000 treatments on board our Units, seeing over 500 patients.

• A nurse-led Support Line service that is free, confidential and open every day. Nurses help with questions, give advice and refer people to their other services. Calls have more than doubled since 2012, growing to c.8,000 per annum. They also operate a proactive callback service enabling them to support patients during and after their treatment.

• A team of Cancer Support Advisors who help with claiming grants and benefits for those with cancer. Managing financially is one of the biggest worries people have when they are diagnosed with cancer. Each year Tenovus Cancer Care claims c.£4m in grants and benefits on behalf of cancer patients and their families. They also offer a debt advice service.

• 18 choirs for those affected by cancer, with 1,500 members singing weekly right across Wales and in London, in a fun, fulfilling and supportive environment for patients and their families. The choirs have been proven to help people to feel better and reduce anxiety and depression, as well as having a beneficial, biological effect on mood, stress levels and the immune function.

• ACTivate Your Life courses to help patients and their families cope with the stresses and emotional effects of cancer through mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapies

Watch the three-minute video below to find out more about who we are and how we work; and you'll also find more videos on our Youtube page.

Our history

Tenovus Cancer Care was founded in 1943 by ten businessmen as a charity to fund a wide range of projects in the south Wales area, such as building the Sunshine House for Blind Babies near Cardiff, to donating a washing machine to a widow with seven children who had lost an arm.

• In the 1960s, Tenovus Cancer Care built the Tenovus Institute for Cancer Research in Cardiff which carried out vital research into the causes of cancer. Since then, the charity has concentrated on cancer and is recognised for its pioneering work including its scientists’ development of the use of Tamoxifen, used worldwide to treat breast cancer, and Zoladex, which is also used worldwide to treat prostate cancer.

• In 2009, they developed their innovative Mobile Support Unit. Tenovus Cancer Care now has four units, which bring cancer care to the heart of the community. They help save patients long, stressful journeys to hospital and the cost of making those journeys

• In 2011, Tenovus Cancer Care conducted research into the benefits of singing for cancer patients and their families. The results were so positive that they applied for funding to set up more choirs and were awarded a £1m Big Lottery Grant to set up 15 Sing with Us choirs across Wales. These have now spread to England.

• 2012 saw the launch of Tenovus Cancer Callback; a world-first service which offers newly diagnosed cancer patients a series of regular calls from an experienced nurse. 

• In 2014 Tenovus Cancer Care partnered with Prostate Cancer UK and Movember to launch the ManVan – bringing support to men affected by prostate and testicular cancer in Wales. The same year, the organisation launched a refreshed brand and a new name Tenovus Cancer Care – to allow more people to know who they are and seek support if affected by cancer.

• In 2015 they celebrated 50 years of cancer research and undertook research with the Royal College of Music in London to investigate whether singing in one of their choirs had positive biological effects. The results were encouraging and have the potential for much further research.

• 2018 marked the organisation’s 75th birthday and an incredibly exciting time in the organisation’s development and growth.

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