Clic Sargent founder Bob Woodward dies at 85

He set up Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood in 1976 after his son, Robert, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma

Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward, the founder and former chief executive of the young people’s cancer charity that became Clic Sargent, has died at the age of 85.

Woodward, who was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in 2003, set up Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood in 1976 after his son Robert was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Robert died in 1977 aged 11.

Woodward, a former property developer, was chief executive of the charity for its first 21 years.

In 1998 he became chief executive and subsequently patron of the grant-maker the Starfish Trust. He was also a patron and ambassador for Meningitis Now.

In 2011, when he was given the Pride of Britain lifetime achievement award, it was estimated he had been personally responsible for raising more than £100m for charity.

He was appointed OBE in 2014.

Woodward set up Clic after becoming aware of the issues around cancer in young people and their families, including being a long way from home while receiving treatment, a statement from Clic Sargent said.

The charity said he set up its first "home from home" in Bristol to provide free accommodation for the families of young cancer patients while treatment was being provided. It now has 10 such facilities in the UK.

In 1993, Woodward helped to establish Clic International with the former leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, as its president.

Gorbachev called Woodward "one of the world’s greatest humanitarians", according to a statement on the Starfish Trust website.

Clic merged with Sargent Cancer Care for Children in 2005 to form Clic Sargent.

Kate Lee, chief executive of Clic Sargent, said Woodward’s legacy would live on.

"Bob’s caring nature and his drive to not stop until every child and young person suffering from cancer receives better support, lives on in our charity’s values today," she said.

"It’s with Bob’s commitment that we continue our mission to be there for the 12 children and young people every day who hear the devastating news that they have cancer."

Woodward leaves his wife Judy, daughter Rachel, son James and granddaughter Laura.

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