UK breast cancer charities merge up

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is merging with UK Breast Cancer Coalition to create the UK's largest charity dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research and campaigning.

The merged charity will keep Breakthrough Breast Cancer's name, and UK Breast Cancer Coalition's full-time staff will relocate to Breakthrough's head office in Holborn, London.

UK Breast Cancer Coalition, made up of a network of about 500 individual and organisational advocates campaigning at grass-roots level for improvements in breast cancer services, will ask its members to vote on the merger proposal at an EGM on 8 November.

If, as expected, the members vote for merger, the coalition's work will be transferred to the new Breakthrough Breast Cancer Advocacy Network.

Delyth Morgan, who will remain chief executive at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said that the merger is testament to the work to improve breast cancer services carried out by both charities over the past few years.

"This is the most exciting thing that Breakthrough has been involved in since we opened our first research centre in 1999," she said. "We've grown phenomenally over a short space of time, and the merger is the ideal way to add an extra dimension to our work."

Last year, Breakthrough Breast Cancer's income leapt by 20 per cent to £7.3m, which it puts down to the success of its high-profile Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaigns. It expects its growth this year to exceed last year's increase.

"The merger gives Breakthrough a wealth of grass-roots patient representatives with experience of the disease, who can inform our national campaigns and take them to the heart of local services," said Morgan. "In return, we believe our fundraising expertise and supporter base will provide a robust platform on which to develop the existing advocacy network."

- The Community Education Development Centre and Education Extra also merged this week to form a new community learning charity called ContinYou.

See Communications News, p11.

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