We’re excited to be celebrating our 40th anniversary throughout 2020, and to mark the occasion we are taking a look back at all the amazing things that have happened over the last 40 years to bring us to where we are now.
Our story began in 1979 when our founder, Penny Brohn, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Penny, who grew up in Bristol, knew instinctively that she needed more than just care and treatment for her body. She recognised that she needed to care equally for her, “mind, spirit, emotions, heart and soul”. With her close friend Pat Pilkington, she set out to find what she was looking for.
“Care for the mind, spirit, emotions, heart and soul.”
– Penny Brohn, Founder of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre (now Penny Brohn UK)
What happened next?
On July 15 1983, with much media attention, HRH The Prince of Wales opened the Bristol Cancer Help Centre (now Penny Brohn UK) in its new home, Grove House in Clifton.
Prince Charles became Patron of the charity in 1997 after having officially opened the centre in Clifton in 1983. He has since worked on several important projects with the charity and continues to be an active Patron to this day.
In 2003, Pat Pilkington was awarded an MBE in recognition of her work. In the same year, the charity also won a Healthcare and Medical Research award for its evaluation work in measuring the effectiveness of our approach.
By this time our helpline had answered 150,000 calls, 20,000 people had attended our residential courses and hundreds of health professionals had been trained in our approach.
In 2013 we partnered with GenesisCare UK, a private healthcare company. We now deliver complementary treatment support for patients undergoing chemo and radiotherapy at several of their centres across the UK. Following a holistic needs assessment, all their patients are..Read more
In 2015, our healthy eating guidelines were re-published and subsequently recognised as a benchmark for healthcare professionals.
In April 2015, we hosted the launch of Pat Pilkington’s memoirs, “The Golden Thread”. You can buy a copy of her book at www.pennybrohn.org.uk/shop.
In 2015, Maureen Lipman and Mike Harris, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 31, ran a very successful BBC Radio 4 fundraising appeal.
On September 19 2015, we were deeply saddened to hear that popular, acclaimed author Jackie Collins OBE passed away from breast cancer. Jackie had been diagnosed in 2009 and we understand and respect her choice to keep it a secret...Read more
In July 2019, we launched our Reconnect with the Bristol Whole Life Approach course. The new course brings people who had already used our Living Well services back into the centre and gives them space to revisit some of the..Read more