UK's largest breast cancer charities announce merger plans

05 Nov 2018 News

Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now, the UK's two largest breast cancer charities, have announced that they plan to merge in spring 2019.

The merger will create a new charity that will have an income of around £45m. 

By merging, the two organisations aim to create one “comprehensive offer” for people affected by the disease and also increase their campaigning voice.

The charities plan to create one new organisation which will be chaired by Jill Thompson, currently a trustee of Breast Cancer Care. Deylth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, will become the chief executive of the new entity. 

Samia al Qadhi has decided to step down as chief executive of Breast Cancer Care after 25 years at the charity.

The charities have not ruled out redundancies although they have said that every effort will be made to minimise them.

Both the charities’ current chairs - Lynne Berry of Breast Cancer Now and Emma Burns of Breast Cancer Care - will step down when the merger takes place. There will be six trustees from each charity on the new board. See below for full board.

The rest of the senior leadership team will be appointed in the coming months and both organisations will continue to operate independently. 

Breast Cancer Now launched in 2015 following the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Its latest accounts show it has an income of £28.3m and a staff count of 156.

Breast Cancer Care was founded in 1973 and its accounts show an income £16.9m with 215 employees.

A spokeswoman said that: "Every effort will be made to minimise redundancies and maximise retention. To ensure merger is a success, we need to retain our combined talent and expertise as two charities." 

The new charity will be headquarted at Ibex House where Breast Cancer Now is currently based. 

‘Bold and exciting opportunity’ 

Jill Thompson, trustee and treasurer for Breast Cancer Care, and chair of the new charity, said: “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. 

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.”

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.”

Full board

Mark Astaire
Barbara Brown
Sonia Gayle
Marion Lewis
Andrew Moore
Trevor Powles
Adrian Harris
Sue Gallone
Ann Pickering
Chris Copeland 
Pascale Alvanitakis Guely


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