If you can’t find the answer you are looking for in our FAQs, our Helpline and Reception teams are available to help with any queries you might have about our services and facilities. Just call 0303 3000 118 or email info@pennybrohn.org.uk for Reception or helpline@pennybrohn.org.uk for our Confidential Helpline.

If your question is about fundraising or donations, please contact fundraising@pennybrohn.org.uk.

Services Questions

A. Penny Brohn UK is a national charity specialising in a holistic approach to cancer.  The charity was founded by Penny Brohn, along with her great friend Pat Pilkington. Penny was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979 and knew instinctively that she needed care for her whole being –mind, body, spirit and emotions.  She set out on a journey to discover the kind of support that would help her and others to live well with cancer. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre, as the charity was originally known, was born. We changed our name to Penny Brohn Cancer Care in 2006 and then in 2015 we became Penny Brohn UK to reflect the fact that we are a national charity offering services across the country.

A. Our services are open to both men and women aged 18 or over who have a cancer diagnosis, and to people in a close supporting role including parents and carers of young people with cancer. You can access our services no matter what kind of cancer you have, at any stage and even if you’re currently cancer free.

A. There are lots of ways you can start using our services. Most people come to an Introduction Day, our Living Well with the Impact of Cancer course or our Treatment Support Clinic. Alternatively, you can book a Personal Planning session with one of our trained therapists to work out what support you need right now.  These sessions are also available over the phone.

Call our Helpline on 0303 3000 118 to find out more about all the services we offer and decide which is best for you.

A. You can book onto a number of courses at our National Centre and across the UK online or by calling our Bookings team on 0303 3000 118 and selecting option 2.

A. The Bristol Whole Life Approach underpins all our services. How we feel in our bodies and in our emotions, how we think, what we believe, our relationships and our external circumstances are all connected, and can all affect our physical health. And we are hard-wired to heal and repair – our bodies and minds are always naturally working towards wholeness and health.  Everything we offer aims to support this process and build resilience in every area of life.

A. Yes we can. Our Living Well Course may be a good place to start.  Alternatively, you can book a Personal Planning session with a trained therapist to work out what support you need at the moment, or you could contact our Helpline to find out more about our Services.


A. Yes. Our Introduction Day would be a good way of finding out about our approach and what we offer. Alternatively, you might want to book a Personal Planning session to work out how best to support both yourself, and your husband, through this difficult time. These sessions, with a trained therapist, are also available over the phone.

A. Waiting for results is one of the most difficult times. It can help to have an idea of what steps you might take if you do find out it’s cancer. It could help to talk things through with our Helpline Volunteers, and perhaps make a provisional booking for the Introduction Day or a Living Well with the Impact of Cancer course, so you have something in place should you need it.

A. We understand how urgent it can feel to speak with a doctor, especially if you have treatment decisions to make quickly. If you are preparing for or undergoing treatment and live within easy distance to our National Centre, the quickest way to see a Doctor is through our Treatment Support Clinic. The reason we recommend coming to an Introduction Day, a Living Well or the Treatment Support Clinic first, is that they provide helpful information about our approach, and the things you can do to support yourself.

A. Yes. There is level access to all the bedrooms, dining rooms and group rooms, and accessible toilet and bathroom facilities. Access to the garden is a bit limited in places, and some of the doors can be tricky to manage from a wheelchair but our staff are very willing to help where needed. And you may want to consider bringing someone with you for additional support. Talk to our Bookings Team about your particular requirements.

A. Yes.  We can arrange for the local District Nurses to come in and do things like flush a PIC line, give injections or change dressings. You will need to ask your GP to complete a form giving clear instructions of what is to be done, and you will need to bring all the equipment with you. Talk to Reception about your particular requirements. They will send you the form for your GP. Be sure to give us plenty of notice to get things in place.

A. At the moment, we are only able to offer support to those in a close supporting role to people who have already used our services.

If you or the person who has died, hasn’t used our services, your GP might be able to offer counselling through the NHS, or you could contact the CRUSE Bereavement Support.

A. You’re not wasting our time! Our services are here for you too.  It’s so important that you take care of yourself at this difficult and stressful time. Just knowing there is a place where you can come and be yourself can make a real difference to both you and your partner.

A. No. Everything we do will work alongside chemo and radio therapy and any other treatment you may be having or need in the future. By supporting your overall health and wellbeing, our therapies can help reduce symptoms and side effects and support you through the treatment process.  Our Treatment Support Clinic is designed to help you get the most from your treatment.

A. No. We don’t offer alternative treatments to cancer and don’t claim to treat cancer at all. Our Bristol Whole Life Approach is all about supporting your health and your immune system, whatever kind of treatment you may (or may not) be having. You may want to talk with one of our Integrative Doctors who can help support you with decisions about treatment and appropriate complementary therapies.    

A. Yes there is. We can help you work out the things that are important to you right now, and help you manage energy levels and symptoms. We are here every step of the way to support you in whatever way we can. Call our Helpline to speak to someone about how we can help you.

A. No. We offer holistic cancer care designed to help you support and maximise your health at every stage of a cancer diagnosis.  This includes health and wellbeing courses, some of which are residential, one-to-one complementary therapies, Doctor appointments and supportive regular groups.  We don’t offer any medical treatment.

A. We offer Living Well courses and some shorter Health and Wellbeing Events in different locations across the country. We are able to offer some travel bursaries for people on low incomes to come to our National Centre from across the country.  We also have Volunteer Drivers who can bring you to one- to-one and group sessions if you live more locally.

A. No. We offer holistic cancer support including health and wellbeing courses, complementary therapies and regular supportive groups. We do not follow or promote any particular faith and offer our services to people of all faiths and none.

A. No, we hope not. We start a conversation about what spirit means for you, and what sorts of things it might include. For example, things that lift your spirits or make your happy like playing with your grandchildren, or tending your garden or singing in the shower. For some people, it might include meditation, prayer or a religious belief but we welcome everyone, whatever your ideas and experience.

A. The best way of linking up with people in a similar situation to you is to visit our online community via Health unlocked.

A.  We recommend you book a Personal Planning session where you can talk through your own needs and ideas with one of our experienced therapists. They know a lot about the complementary therapies we offer here, and can help you decide what will be the most suitable for you now. Personal Planning sessions can also be conducted over the phone.

A.   Everyone is unique so there is no one ‘ anti-cancer’ diet that suits all. We recommend eating a wide variety of whole, natural, fresh foods, plenty of vegetables, and including high-quality meat and whole grains. We recommend minimising processed foods, sugar and alcohol to the extent that is realistic for you. Download our Healthy Eating Guidelines for more details or find out more about our Courses, which all include advice on healthy eating.

A. Yes,  it is both safe and advisable to be physically active during treatment, as far as you are able. Take time – usually 4-6  weeks, to recover from any surgery before starting any physical activity. Talk to your surgeon or GP to advise you on this. Energy levels can be very variable during chemotherapy and radiotherapy so it’s important to listen to your body. Aim to do some form of physical activity that makes you breathe a bit more deeply, but doesn’t get you out of breath, for half-an-hour most days. The half-hour could be broken down into three 10-minute sessions. Some days this could mean going downstairs and making a cup of tea.  Other days it could be walking the dog in the park or going for a gentle bike ride.

We realise that this is an unsettling time for a lot of you, particularly those in active treatment. Please be reassured that we are continuing to offer our counselling, nutrition, and doctors 1:1 sessions by phone. Please contact bookings by emailing bookings@pennybrohn.org.uk if you would like to speak to someone about this.

Our Helpline is also still available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9am-3.30pm if you have any concerns. Call 0303 3000 118.

You can also access our online resources, where you will find a wealth of self-care tips and other resources to support you during this time.

If you’re worried about the risk of coronavirus, talk to your hospital cancer team. One Cancer Voice has produced some useful guidance about coronavirus for people with cancer. This includes some frequently asked questions and answers about coronavirus. One Cancer Voice is a group of cancer charities working together to give consistent advice and information. More information about this is available here.

There are a couple of resources that can help with this.

  • Good Sixty – enter your postcode and it tells you who can deliver
  • Bristol 24/7 – a Google Maps list has been compiled to advise on who is delivering at this time

If anyone is having trouble finding delivery people there is a Facebook group of helpful individuals who can assist and if you’re going through treatment or have been identified as particularly vulnerable please see government advice and help here.

Fundraising Questions

A. We are primarily funded by charitable donations and rely on individuals and charitable trusts to support our work. A very small percentage of our services are currently funded by the NHS through partnerships with other healthcare providers.

To find out how to get involved, by making a donation or taking part in an event, call 01275 370 075.

A. We’re delighted that you would like to fundraise for us; your support will enable us to help more people living with cancer. There are so many ways you can get involved in the Penny Brohn family – why not check out our events or take a look at our Fundraising Pack for some inspiration? If you’re not sure what’s right for you, then call or email our friendly Fundraising Team who will be more than happy to help you work out what’s perfect for you.

A. Paying in your donation is simple. You can pay it in online, send us a cheque or drop it in to our National Centre. Alternatively, call us on 01275 370 075 and we can take the payment over the phone or give you our bank details. Remember to let us know how you raised the money – we love to hear what people have been up to!

A. There are lots of fundraising materials, including sponsor forms, bunting, poster templates and our Fundraising Pack available to download here. We also have T-shirts, collection tins, banners, balloons and running vests – simply get in touch with the fundraising team to get yours.

A. Of course! Whether you plan to organise a walk, an afternoon tea, a quiz night or a yogathon we would be delighted to have your support. Visit our resources page to download materials and contact us on 01275 370 075 or email us to let us know what you’ve got planned.

A. No problem! Simply call our friendly events team on 01275 370 075 or email events@pennybrohn.org.uk.

A. Gift Aid is great – it means we can claim an extra 25% of a donation from HMRC at no cost to you or your sponsors! There are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to Gift Aid:

  • Gift Aid applies only to ‘gifts’. It does not apply to activities where an entry fee has been charged, where people have entered a competition or there is a perceived benefit for the donor.
  • Legally Gift Aid cannot be claimed on donations from your immediate family so make sure Mum doesn’t tick that box!
  • To claim Gift Aid on your fundraising, we must have the first name, last name, full home address and postcode of each individual donor/sponsor. So please encourage them to tick the Gift Aid box on your sponsorship form when they sponsor you. Without these details we legally can’t claim Gift Aid – so be strict with your supporters!
  • In order for Penny Brohn UK to claim Gift Aid on your donations, the donor/sponsor must have paid income or capital gains tax (in the UK) for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) at least equal to the tax that all the charities or Community Amateur Sports Clubs that you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify.
  • Unfortunately, Gift Aid donations cannot be used towards your minimum fundraising target. This is because the payment comes from the government and therefore cannot be guaranteed. When donations are authorised it can take up to 10 weeks for HMRC to send us the money. However, you should encourage your sponsors to tick the Gift Aid box if they are UK tax payers as this is an important source of additional income for us.

A. We love to see what you’ve been up to so please send any photos to fundraising@pennybrohn.org.uk. By sending the photos to us you are giving us permission to use them on social media or in our marketing. Please note that the image quality must be at least 300dpi in order for us to be able to use them in print work.

A. We are moving to an ‘Opt-In’ policy. In order to receive news and updates from us, you will need to ‘opt-in’. You can read all about how to do this, here.