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World Cancer Research Fund

In the UK today, a staggering one in two of us will hear the dreaded words "you have cancer" at some point in our lives. We now know that 40% of cancers could be prevented through healthier lifestyle choices. Help us keep friends, families, colleagues and communities together for longer by stopping cancer before it starts, or helping those who do

www.wcrf-uk.org Fundraise for us

Registered charity no. 1000739

Member since October 2019

Latest News

How to use your business this Christmas to support the launch of WCRF's Junior Cooks Club

How to use your business this Christmas to support the launch of WCRF's Junior Cooks Club

This December sees the launch of Work for Good’s Christmas campaign #SmallBusinessStar; a festive fundraising opportunity for small businesses like yours to help our charity raise funds sustainably by donating through your Christmas sales.

From 1st-31st December, Work for Good will be DOUBLING donations up to £500, raised from the sales of your products and services, paid to charities via their platform.

To get involved and become a #SmallBusinessStar all you need to do is:

  1. Sign your business up to Work for Good and pledge a proportion of sales from your products or services to World Cancer Research Fund

  2. Create a bit of hype around your good deeds with the help of assets and a toolkit supplied by Work for Good

  3. Make your donation via the Work for Good platform between 1st-31st December and see your donation doubled up to £500

Finally, the team at World Cancer Research Fund have decided our amazing small business supporters deserve for their money to go towards the launch of a new equally incredible project: Junior Cooks Club.

What is Junior Cooks Club?

Simply put, Junior Cooks Club is a collaboration between Cook School and World Cancer Research Fund that aims to enhance the health and life-chances of our nation’s children.

Good food and nutrition play a vital role in achieving this, so Junior Cooks Club delivers hands-on cooking classes in schools in high cancer risk areas to encourage children to try different foods, build skills and confidence in the kitchen, and develop healthy habits which will stay with them for life:

• We provide schools with FREE curriculum linked remote lessons that children can cook along to, along with teachers’ notes and an ingredients list

• All recipes are approved by WCRF nutritionists

• Children learn cooking skills, as well as vital life-long lessons on diet and nutrition

• Children receive a pack of resources to encourage repeat cooking at home

• We also share our tips on children cooking and eating healthily with parents

If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about Junior Cooks Club then scroll down where you can find its own dedicated blog.

Become a #SmallBusinessStar this December, and bring Junior Cooks Club to life so we can create a path to a healthier future for the kids who need it most.

WCRF to launch Junior Cooks Club for Primary School kids

WCRF to launch Junior Cooks Club for Primary School kids

Junior Cooks Club is a collaboration between Cook School and World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) built on our shared belief that it’s never too early to develop healthy habits, and our knowledge that good food and nutrition play a vital role in enhancing the life-chances of the nation’s children.

Through hands-on cooking classes in schools in high cancer risk areas, we want to encourage children to try different food and feel more confident in the kitchen.

How Junior Cooks Club Works

• We provide schools with FREE curriculum linked remote lessons that children can cook along to, along with teachers’ notes and an ingredients list

• All recipes are approved by WCRF nutritionists

• Children learn cooking skills, as well as vital life-long lessons on diet and nutrition

• Children receive a pack of resources to encourage repeat cooking at home

• We also share our tips on children eating and cooking healthily with parents

Why are WCRF supporting children?

Currently in England, almost 1 in 4 children start primary school overweight or obese and this rises to over 1 in 3 by the time they leave. For us, this is a huge concern because children who are overweight or obese are more likely to continue to be so into adulthood, which leads to a greater risk of them developing cancer or other non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

We believe that every child has the right to good health. It’s crucial to act now to equip children with these life skills for a healthier, happier future.

Why is cooking important?

The increase in child obesity is coupled with children not eating enough fruit and vegetables (less than one in five are currently eating their 5 A DAY) and eating too much food high in fat, sugar and salt – such as junk food and ready-meals.

Children who learn to cook from a young age are shown to make healthier food choices throughout life. Our friends at Cook School have taught around 40,000 children so far – some of which had never eaten certain every day vegetables – and our Junior Cooks Club programme aims to establish long-term interest in healthy, nutritious cooking that will benefit families through creating positive experiences of cooking and trying new food.

What has been the response to the cooking lessons so far?

Vikki, a teacher from Holte School in Birmingham said:

“Pupils were all engaged and really enjoyed learning how to make the dishes. Being part of the sessions as a member of staff meant that I was able to dedicate my time to the children who need extra support whilst more able pupils were able to follow the video tutorial with ease.”

How can you help us?

Simply put, any donations we receive from small businesses through Work for Good in the coming months will go on to help us launch our Junior Cooks Club pilot scheme and reach over 1,000 children in the London Borough of Brent.

We've chosen Brent because it currently has 1,235 Reception-aged children who are overweight or obese, and 2,545 year 6 children – which is much higher than the England average. 18% of children living in Brent are also from low income families, which is a risk factor for poor diets, reduced activity and poor health outcomes.

We know that children in Brent will benefit from our help and that is only possible through your support. Help us bring Junior Cooks Club to life and create a path to a healthier future for those who need it most.

Cancer during COVID-19: World Cancer Research Fund continues to help patients in isolation

Cancer during COVID-19: World Cancer Research Fund continues to help patients in isolation

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a drastic change to our everyday lives. Understandably at this time many people are worried about their health and that of their loved ones, as well as the uncertainty around when social distancing restrictions will be lifted.

However, amongst all this noise surrounding the virus, it’s easy to forget that there are nearly three million people in the UK facing the dual uncertainty of living with cancer during this outbreak.

At first glance the initial source of worry comes from the virus itself. Key treatments such a chemotherapy weakens the body’s immune system and as a result its ability to fight off viruses. On top of this, COVID-19 is having a number of knock-on effects; one of which includes thousands of potentially life-saving treatments being delayed or cancelled outright as NHS resources become increasingly stretched and diverted.

Naturally, this may lead to a backlog of current and new cancer patients on a waiting list for treatment, potentially long after the pandemic passes.

With this being the case, it’s essential for people living with cancer to protect themselves by improving their overall health, immune system and quality of life, just one of the things that World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and Life Kitchen hope to achieve as part our new digital programme.

WCRF and Life Kitchen: Fuelling people with cancer from the safety of their own home

In light of COVID-19 we’ve looked at how we might reallocate our resources and provide a service that ensures our key audience’s safety, while still delivering invaluable content in a time of crisis to as many people as possible.

As a result, we’ve pulled together our resources to deliver some immediate support in the form of:

1a. 10 weekly live cookery classes online led by Ryan Riley sharing some amazing recipes (from our joint booklet) and practical flavour enhancing cooking techniques to help with taste changes that many people experience during cancer.

1b. Cookery classes will be co-hosted by a WCRF’s oncology dietitian to provide specialist dietary advice and ways to tailor a recipe to someone’s specific needs based on their type and stage of cancer.

2. 10 weekly Eat Well During Cancer online support groups featuring closed group Zoom sessions with our oncology dietitian to help with additional, specific questions as well as advice on nutrition during lock-down and safely managing side-effects associated with cancer.

Initial feedback from cancer patients has been extremely positive but with a little extra backing from would-be supporters we hope to extend this digital programme beyond the initial 10 weeks and offer more in the way of nutritional support for cancer patients.

About WCRF & Life Kitchen

For those who might want to know a little more about our charity, WCRF wants a world where no one develops a preventable cancer. Our overarching vision is that preventable cancers in the UK are halved by 2050 and the survival chances of those unfortunate enough to hear the words ‘you have cancer’ are improved through diet and lifestyle choices, an area we’ve been studying and analysing for the last 30 years.

For this project, we’ve linked up again with our friends at Life Kitchen, a multi-award-winning not-for-profit cookery school for people living with cancer, co-founded by Ryan Riley and Kimberley Duke who both sadly lost their mothers to the disease.

Ryan often speaks about how his mum loved to cook and gained so much joy from food. During the last six months of her treatment he witnessed his mum lose her sense of taste and joy of food, something he found incredibly difficult.

They set up Life Kitchen cookery lessons, which takes a scientific look at taste and flavour to stimulate the palate and senses based on five key principles (umami, trigeminal nerve, smell, layering flavour, texture), to help people with cancer rediscover their love of food and so far have reached over 700 people.

Why do people living with cancer need support with food and nutrition?

Sadly, what Ryan’s mum went through isn’t unusual, a WCRF survey found that 70 per cent of people reported changes to their sense of taste and smell due to their chemotherapy treatment.

Symptoms of cancer and its various treatments can cause devastating side-effects (sometimes lasting several years) which include being unable to taste food as they once did and loss of appetite, often resulting in less food being consumed and vital nutrients being missed.

This loss of appetite and essential nutrients in many cases can lead to dramatic weight loss and malnutrition, something that is reported to varying degrees (depending on such factors as age, disease site, staging, and treatment strategy) in 40 per cent to 80 per cent of cancer cases.

Not getting enough of the right nutrients can reduce how well someone responds to cancer treatment, increase the likelihood of side-effects and risk of infection, reduce strength and quality of life during and after treatment hindering a patient’s recovery time, or even limit what treatment strategies are available to them.

With cancer patients facing the reality of an extended period in isolation, and key treatments subjected to various delays, it is even more crucial they do whatever is in their power to ensure they’re in the best possible condition to survive this period of uncertainty, and come back ready to resume their treatment.

We’ve been helping cancer patients rediscover the joys of food

Since 2019 WCRF and Life Kitchen have worked hard to combine our expertise to best help people with cancer combat this largely underreported problem.

Our first collaboration saw the launch of a collection of delicious recipes that tackled loss of taste while meeting WCRF’s nutritional guidelines. Following this initial success, we came together to design and trial two, free to attend, practical cookery classes to cancer patients and primary carers, supported by a qualified oncology dietitian in London and the North East of England.

After an extremely positive evaluation we secured additional funding to run 10 sessions across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire and were in the processes of looking to replicate this in the North East.

Designed to be informal, hands-on and enjoyable, each class lasts around 3-4 hours in which 10 participants (five cancer patients and five caregivers/family members) learn up to four recipes and then sit and eat together. Attendants are then given resources, such as WCRF’s Eat Well During Cancer booklet, to help manage food-related side-effects of cancer and treatment, as well as the chance to ask our qualified oncology dietitian any questions they may have.

However, with the emergence of COVID-19 and the increased risk to cancer patients, the decision was made to postpone these classes indefinitely before we could deliver a single session.

Since then we’ve launched a digitally friendly version of our collaboration so we can continue to reach those most in need with our potentially life-saving sessions at a time when it’s never been more essential.

We’d like to do more, but we need your support

Like nearly every business, household, and hospital in the UK during COVID, WCRF and Life Kitchen are limited in what we’ve been able to offer with restricted resources, but we’re proud of what we’ve been able to create in such a short time.

However, with an extended period of isolation ahead, we may not see our group cookery classes relaunch until a vaccine is available in 2021, as people living with cancer are considered highly vulnerable to the virus. We desperately need additional funding to take Life Kitchen at Home to the next level and continue to support them each step of the way by:

• Hosting an additional series of 45-minute live Life Kitchen classes with WCRF’s oncology dietitian in support.

• Producing and delivering weekly pre-recorded Life Kitchen classes.

• Producing and delivering a series of videos explaining in depth Life Kitchen’s key principles of taste.

• Hosting weekly Q&A sessions with both Ryan and a WCRF’s oncology dietitian present.

• Developing an online blog to share new recipes, news, stories, and advice from reputable dietitians and nutritionists.

WCRF and Life Kitchen already know from their years of experience that cancer, like coronavirus, can be isolating. Losing your sense of taste and smell can add to that isolation by depriving you of the joys of food and social mealtimes. Help us to bring that joy back to as many people as we can and ensure that people living with cancer are fuelling their bodies properly in the difficult months ahead.

Thank you.