Happy New Year. It’s shaping up to be quite the 12 months here at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. We’ve been sharing what each of us is looking forward to in 2024 and, as big fans of lists, we thought we’d share them with you and see what you’re most excited for…
1. The expansion of screening
The highlight of 2023 had to be the announcement of lung cancer screening. As you know, this is something our charity has campaigned for for decades. This year, we will see the existing screening pilots expand so more people will have the chance to be diagnosed at the earliest opportunity. We’re also excited to continue our work with the NHS, increasing awareness of screening and encouraging those eligible to attend. What this space for our new animation screening video…
2. Improving early diagnosis in symptomatic lung cancer
At the end of 2023, we published our paper with recommendations on how to improve early diagnosis in symptomatic lung cancer. In 2024, we will start to take steps to see these recommendations are acknowledged and actioned. We did it with screening and we’ll do it with this!
3. Taking on Snowdon at Night
There’s something really magical about this challenge.
Arriving in darkness at around midnight, we’ll be guided by the stars as we climb to the top to see the sun rises around 4.50am. We’ll then steadily descend and devour the breakfast butties waiting for us at the bottom. A lot of the charity staff have already signed up for the challenge, as well as patients and lung cancer nurse specialists, so come and be part of the team and achieve something really special.
4. Awarding the first James Brokenshire research fellowship
2024 will see us appoint our first James Brokenshire research fellow. This fellowship has been set up and funded by Cathy Brokenshire and will help us shape the next generation of lung cancer researcher.
5. 31 miles in March
Here’s a new challenge that everyone can do. You can walk a mile a day. You can run 6 and a bit miles every Sunday. Or you can enjoy a weekend long trek. It doesn’t matter how you complete your 31 miles in March. It just matters why.
6. More patient information days
Our patient support team is going to be taking to the road throughout the year to bring more information days to those living with lung cancer. Giving people the opportunity to hear from many of the multidisciplinary team, as well as patient advocates, these days are always well received and we’re delighted to be going to places we haven’t been before.
7. Our first strictly ballroom in Manchester
2024 will see us take our FAB U LOUS Strictly Ballroom event to Manchester. On Saturday 17th February, 10 couples will take to dance floor at Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground in front of hundreds of people. If our Liverpool event is anything to go by, this would even get a 10 from Craig! Tickets are still available. Email Jackie Tebbs for details.
8. Marking the 30th anniversary of Roy Castle’s passing
It’s hard to believe that in 2024, it will be 30 years since the wonderful Roy Castle died. We have been able to achieve so much in this time in Roy’s memory and we look forward to marking the occasion in a fitting and special way.
9. The Big Skydive
We’re going BIG in 2024 with our national skydive day. On 1 June, supporters from across the country will take to the sky and take that leap of faith to raise money for those living with lung cancer. There’s 20 airfield taking part and it would be awesome if we can get people skydive simultaneously at each venue.
10. Meeting more of the most incredible people
It is an honour and a privilege to work at this charity and the reason for this is the people we get to meet. Everyday people who are faced with the reality that we all dread. But they do not crumble (even though it’s totally fine if they do). Instead, they choose to share their experience to help others. They take on the most amazing challenges to change the future for those that follow them. They campaign. They speak out. They care. They do everything they can to improve outcomes. And we are lucky to be a part of it.
11. Setting the record straight with another awareness campaign
We love pushing the barriers and coming up with engaging and compelling awareness campaigns that challenges and unites us all in our quest for early detection. We’ve confronted language around lung cancer through our Follow my Lead campaign, brought lung cancer out of shadows with Still Here. And most recently, challenged misconceptions with Be Unforgettable. Question is, what will we come up with this year?!
12. Working with our new partners Insurancewith
At the end of November, we launched a new partnership with Insurancewith, a travel insurance provider who many lung cancer patients rave about for. We’re excited to help more people get a much needed break and hear more stories like Alan who was able to secure a sensible and affordable insurance policy for him and his wife, who is living with lung cancer.
Insurancewith is a genuine insurer for people with medical issues. Other insurers only looked at her diagnosis instead of her condition and wanted over £1000. Insurancewith was so much lower because they asked so many questions to understand her condition and gave us a reasonable quote which we gladly accepted.Alan, via Trustpilot
13. The return of our ultimate runs
We’re going to returning to Smash Sherwood, Conquer Cannock, Defeat Delamere and Defy Dalby. This year, runners will also have the chance to take on our NEW 10-miler course, as well as our 5k and 5k routes. We’re even introducing a mini-miler so the kids can get involved too.
14. Enjoying a brew whilst reading the latest edition of Inspire magazine
One of the hardest parts of creating our Inspire magazine is keeping it to 36 pages! There’s so much to share that it just continues to grow and grow! It started as a small A5 magazine with about 16. Then we made the switch to A4 and added 8 more pages. The latest edition was 36 pages. Let’s see what this year’s edition bring. One things for sure, it’ll be a cracking read!
15. Dressing up for our Adventures in Wonderland and Spooky Welly Walk events
From the Spooky Witch to the Mad Hatter, our chief executive leads by example! Donning these wonderful costumes, we plan to give our Spooky Welly Walkers and Adventure in Wonderland goers a fun and friendly day out!
16. Taking the biggest pair of lungs you’ll ever see into even more communities
You’re not expecting to see a pair of 12ft inflatable lungs in the lobby of Asda when you pop in to do your big shop, are you! But this year, there’s a pretty good chance you might because the diary is already chocker block with awareness events, where we head into communities to improve understanding of symptoms, challenge misconceptions and promote screening.
17. Swimming the Distance
A favourite fundraiser, Swimming the Distance will return again in November alongside our lung cancer awareness month campaign. Super inclusive and flexible, it doesn’t matter if you swim a mile or a marathon. Just dive in!
18. Further advances in treatment
For those whose lung cancer cannot be cured, there is still hope and lots of it, with treatments for advanced stage lung cancer coming thick and fast. As the patient representative on the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC), we will continue to campaign for access to new treatments for all types of lung cancer.
19. Supplying the nation with easy to read patient information
Hearing those words… you have lung cancer. You can’t take anything else in and nothing makes sense. That’s why, we spend so much time making our information about lung cancer jargon free and easy to understand. From living with lung cancer to managing symptoms, the importance of biomarker testing and types of treatments, our booklets are provided to hospitals across the UK throughout the and are also available to download or order on our website.
20. Meet our Researchers Day at our high street shops
Throughout 2024, some of lung cancer researchers will be stepping out of the lab and into our high street stores, sharing updates from the world of lung cancer research and possibly inspiring the next generation of researchers.
21. Our biggest ever London marathon team
This year, we have our BIGGEST ever London Marathon team. We’re super proud and excited to be joining 95 runners at this year’s event. Get in touch if you want to be part of the cheer squad or to apply for 2025.
22. Being there for everyone who needs us
This is one of the things we are most proud of and what makes us kind of unique. We are here to support everyone affected by lung cancer… in whatever way works for them. And 2024 will be no different.
23. A very special Time to Tap
We always get a warm feeling about Time to Tap. It’s probably because it reminds us so much of Roy and his love of dancing. So once again, we’ll be encouraging everyone to tip tap to their screen and be part of this year’s Time to Tap event.
24. Seeing more people living through lung cancer
With the expansion of screening and our work in symptomatic lung cancer, it’s our aim that this year more people will be diagnosed early and have the chance to get through this disease and get back on with their life.