Back page: My week - Peter Cardy laments Jack Straw

Peter Cardy, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support

FRIDAY: Macmillan has two of the three most-recognised corporate partnerships in the sector, including one with Nationwide. I go to Swindon to visit chief executive Philip Williamson. He is a courteous host, easy to talk and astute, and we anticipate the merger of Nationwide with Portman and how our brand will sit with the merged mutuals. Our partnership has lasted 13 years so far and has raised more than £5m.

SATURDAY: I catch up with Jack Straw's indecent proposal that women should remove their veils when they come to his constituency surgeries. What on earth has happened to this once radical politician?

SUNDAY/MONDAY: To Birmingham for the National Cancer Research Institute annual conference. The institute is virtual, but its achievements are solid, persuading its members to put big money into underfunded areas of cancer research. I led a group trying to focus better research on lung cancer, a horrendous, neglected but common disease. We don't know how best to organise services to keep up with the galloping progress of lung cancer, so Macmillan has put up £1m for research into care.

TUESDAY: At a conference for charity donors, I share a slot with Alison Cole, the communications director of nPower. We are working with the company on helping people with cancer to afford their fuel as one facet of our corporate partnership. Macmillan was voted in by the staff and it has been a really productive relationship in a short time. Alison and I finish our talk by toasting our partnership in coffee, freshly poured into funky brown mugs that reveal our two logos as they warm up. As I'm speaking, we're head-to-head with Marie Curie, our neighbours in Vauxhall, London, to be voted the Somerfield charity. Either way, people with cancer will benefit.

WEDNESDAY: I chair the Brain & Spine Foundation, a small and brilliant charity that is chronically underfunded. Around the table are neurologists, surgeons, business people and people affected by neurological disorders.

We haven't fixed the funding yet, but we're going to have fun on the way.

I am interviewed about Gordon Brown's crazy proposal to turn over charities because of the suspicion that they launder terrorist funds. A drink follows with Douglas Smallwood of Diabetes UK, a truly imaginative chief executive.

He always shakes up my preconceptions.

THURSDAY: A late session with the clever McKinsey team. They have been working with us pro bono for a month on how people affected by cancer can get better access to our support. An exhilarating finish.

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