Rebecca Wynberg appointed as new chairman

Rebecca Wynberg PictureCancerkin, a breast cancer charity based at the Royal Free Hospital, has appointed Rebecca Wynberg as its new chairman. She takes over from Dr John Carrier, who has been chairman at Cancerkin for the past six years.

Rebecca’s background is in consumer market research. She co-founded Sadek Wynberg Research, which was the world’s largest independent qualitative research company when it was sold to Millward Brown (WPP) in 2004. Rebecca then set up Wy, a consultancy business offering global qualitative research and leadership and skills development for clients. In 2012, she was appointed as global CEO of qualitative business at TNS, the world’s largest custom market research specialists.

Rebecca knows Cancerkin well as she has been a Cancerkin Trustee since September 2007 and Vice-Chair since March 2009.

Speaking about her appointment, Rebecca said: Cancerkin is unique in the help and services it provides for people affected by breast cancer and it is a privilege to be continuing my involvement with the charity, now as Chair.  I am looking forward to working with Victoria Todd, our CEO and her great team as well as with our board of trustees to ensure that Cancerkin remains vital and valuable to those it serves.

Victoria Todd, Cancerkin’s Chief Executive, said: “Rebecca has stepped in as our Interim Chairman at the very crucial time for Cancerkin and I am delighted that she has. She has been an extremely valuable member of the Board of Trustees since 2007 when she was instrumental in steering Cancerkin through a number of governance issues which put the Charity onto a more stable footing to enable Cancerkin to grow and prosper. In addition, she has helped us with fundraising but more importantly, provided invaluable support to both me and Cancerkin’s staff. We could not have a better champion at our side”. 


London, 21st June 2013.  UK breast cancer charity Cancerkin, in collaboration with world-renowned light artist Bruce Munro, will light up a modern day beacon on a hill outside Bath on Saturday 22st June.  The beacon will be constructed from 2,730 individually lit plastic bottles and is designed to illuminate the night sky from miles around the site, sending out a universal message of hope.

“Anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer can be part of this light show, by sponsoring a light and attaching to it their own personal message, helping to illuminate the night with their hopes.  So far, over 2,400 bottles have been sponsored with messages from those who have lost, loved and survived,” said Cancerkin CEO, Victoria Todd.

The installation, dubbed ‘Beacon on the Hill’, will be placed bottle by bottle on a 288 metre chalk hill just outside Bath.  This presents a huge physical and logistical challenge; the installation was planned to be lit up on 27th November last year but flooding in the area was so severe that safety experts decided to postpone the event.

The artist was inspired to produce this work by the memory of a close friend, lost to breast cancer at just 33.  “This hill and surrounding countryside has long been my ‘canvas’. I lost a dear friend very young to breast cancer. By illuminating the night sky for a brief moment, I hope to send the message “you are not alone”, said artist Bruce Munro.

Beacon on the Hill will be lit on the night of 22nd June 2013, in front of what is expected to be a large crowd of supporters from across the country. The moment will be captured by photographers, adding this work to the catalogue of images from Bruce’s work at the V&A and Longwood Gardens, ensuring Beacon on the Hill will continue to be a symbol of hope and unity long after the lights are turned out.

“This is a historical event which we hope will draw attention to the issue of breast cancer in a remarkable way. There’s still time to lighten your heart and reach for the sky with your own message. Any donation, large or small, will to help fund our specialised support services for women.” said Cancerkin CEO Victoria Todd.


Notes to editors

Supporters have until the 2nd March 2013 to sponsor a bottle with their personal message. To take part, they can download a bottle sponsorship form from the Cancerkin website (, visit our JustGiving page or simply call Cancerkin on 020 7830 2323 to make a donation and leave a personal message.

Cancerkin was set up in 1987 as the first hospital-based, dedicated breast cancer charity in the UK, Cancerkin offers supportive care services to those living with the disease. The charity helps hundreds of women each year deal with the trauma of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Bruce Munro is a British lighting designer and installation artist. Munro is best known for lighting installations such as Field of Light, which was first exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in 2004. Bruce’s most recent exhibition has just been held to critical acclaim in America at the historic Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, with the 23-acre show drawing record numbers to the gardens to experience the night time

To work or not to work; balancing employment with chronic disease

London, 13 March 2013. Much of the current approach to the treatment of people of working age reflects an assumption that illness is incompatible with being in work, according to Dame Carol Black, chair of the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility Deal, Health at Work Network. However, as she will discuss at breast cancer charity Cancerkin’s1 annual lecture on the 19th March, work is beneficial for the health of most people of working age.

Statistics show that around 7% of the working age population are workless and receiving incapacity benefits because of long-term health conditions or disabilities2. And, for most people, their work is a key determinant of self-worth, family esteem, identity and standing within the community, as well as means of social participation and fulfilment. It is also often crucial, of course, for people to regain their income, especially if they have been on unpaid leave or reduced pay.

Research has also shown that remaining in, or returning to work can promote recovery and lead to better health outcomes. Much sickness absence and inactivity follow common health conditions and chronic diseases which, given the right support, are compatible with work, although sometimes it means a different kind of work. Finally, it must also be recognised that some people are too unwell or disabled to work at all and their needs too should be answered promptly and adequately.

Cancerkin CEO Victoria Todd said: “We see the importance our patients place on employment – particularly the younger women. Returning to work can provide a sense of self-worth, which breast cancer often takes away, and restores normality. However, we also often deal with problems from returning to work too fast, or because specific issues have not been addressed.”

As Tim Davidson, Consultant breast surgeon at the Royal Free and Cancerkin’s Medical Director adds: “Modern treatment of breast cancer, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can enable patients to return to work, or can be carried out alongside employment. Cancerkin’s Lymphoedema Clinic, for example, treats women who have developed chronic lymphoedema to manage their disease, often allowing them to remain to in employment.”

Dame Carol Black’s lecture ‘Wellbeing and work – are they compatible with chronic diseases?’ will explore chronic diseases and their relationship to work. The lecture is in the Atrium at the Royal Free Hospital at 5.45pm for a 6.30pm start. For reservations, contact Holly on Admission is free.

Notes to editors

1 Set up in 1987 as the first hospital-based, dedicated breast cancer charity in the UK, Cancerkin offers supportive care services to those living with the disease. The charity helps hundreds of women each year deal with the trauma of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Please see for more information

2 Black, Carol (2008). Working for a healthier tomorrow – a comprehensive review of work and health;p21.