Patrons & Ambassadors
Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, KBE
Lord Darzi has been charity patron since 2005, with a break when he was introduced to the House of Lords and appointed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health. During his time in government he led a major review of the NHS in the form of the Next Stage Review with the subsequent publication of his report on ‘High Quality Care For All’.
Professor Ara Darzi is a world leader in minimally invasive surgery, who pioneered innovative surgical techniques at a time when this was viewed with suspicion. In addition to his on-going research, he continues his work as a practising colorectal surgeon, seeing bowel cancer patients daily.
Lord Darzi holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London and is a consultant at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust at St Mary’s Hospital and honorary consultant at The Royal Marsden Hospital. He is the Chairman of The Institute of Global Health Innovation.
Dr Chris Steele MBE, MB, ChB
Dr Chris Steele qualified as a doctor in 1968 and has worked as a GP in South Manchester ever since.
In the early 1970s Dr Steele became interested in treating patients who smoked, and is now recognised as an international expert in smoking cessation and nicotine addiction. He has lectured on this subject in more than 27 countries around the world, making numerous media appearances.
Dr Chris is best known as the resident medical expert on ITV’s This Morning since the programme began in 1988, taking live phone-ins on a wide range of medical topics. He uses his prominent position in the media as a platform to educate millions of people on health issues with the intention of saving lives.
Matt Dawson MBE
Part of the England squad that took the country to victory in the 2003 World Cup, Matt Dawson is an institution in the world of rugby. He is immediately recognisable as team captain on BBC’s ‘A Question of Sport’ as well as a rugby commentator for the BBC and Radio 5 Live. With 77 caps under his belt, he is England’s most capped scrum half, captaining the side 9 times. Matt’s position as team captain on ‘A Question of Sport’ has elevated him to a national TV personality. In 2006 he took part in the BBC’s ‘Celebrity Masterchef’ and won; he then put on his dancing shoes to become the runner up in the BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.
Like tens of thousands of people across the country, Matt has a history of bowel cancer in his family. He lost his grandfather to the disease and in 2007 his mother was also diagnosed at the relatively young age of 59. Matt now undergoes regular screening and is keen to spread the word that early diagnosis saves lives.
Lord Crisp, KCB
We were delighted to announce the appointment of Lord Nigel Crisp, KCB, as charity patron in October 2011. A former chief executive of the NHS and permanent secretary of the Department of Health, Lord Crisp led major reforms in the English health system. Since his retirement in 2006, Lord Crisp’s significant contribution to British and international healthcare has continued through his work as an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords.
An eminent figure in the healthcare sector and held in high esteem by healthcare professionals and politicians alike, Lord Crisp’s patronage will be a tremendous asset to the charity.
Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE
Baroness Floella Benjamin became a patron of the charity in January 2013.
Floella has been involved with charities and campaigning for over 25 years, and in recognition of this, was made a Life Peer in the House of Lords in 2010. Four years ago, her mother passed away from bowel cancer.
Baroness Benjamin’s varied career includes acting, presenting, writing and campaigning. Floella’s many lists of achievements include running her own successful film and television production company, writing over 30 books, and being an active advocate for a number of charities. Her broadcasting work has been recognised with a Special Lifetime Achievement BAFTA and an OBE.
Everton legend Kevin Sheedy became an Ambassador for the charity in March 2014. Kevin was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and both his parents have been affected by the disease. Following treatment, Kevin was given the all-clear and is now helping to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
Bestselling author Freya North became an Ambassador for the charity in April 2014. Freya, described as one of the UK’s most beloved and interesting contemporary women’s fiction authors, lost a good friend to the disease in 2013. In memory of her friend Hannah Berry, who passed away aged 30, Freya is keen to help raise awareness of bowel cancer, the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.
Good Morning Britain TV presenter Sean Fletcher became an Ambassador in September 2015. Sean’s mother, Carol, died of bowel cancer when she was just 54 years old.
Sean ran the London Marathon in Carol’s memory in April 2015 and appeared alongside his wife, Luned, in ITV’s All Star Mr and Mrs raising an amazing £30,000.