Dr Eleanor Jones, Dr Helena O’Flynn, Dr Chloe Barr and Dr Helen Clarke are all PhD students involved in womb cancer research. In September 2020, they launched Peaches Womb Cancer Trust together, the UK’s first national charity dedicated to womb cancer. Peaches aims to improve the lives of those with and affected by womb cancer by: raising awareness so that all women know the symptoms; supporting patients through coffee mornings, webinars and online information; advocating for womb cancer on a national level including consulting on national guidelines and new drug appraisals; and promoting and funding research into womb cancer.
The Peaches team have set up and grown the charity as its founding Trustees. They have gradually brought in volunteers with relevant experience in HR, law and finance as the charity has expanded. The charity has grown exponentially and now has a turnover of over £40,000. In September 2022 it welcomed its first employee, a Fundraising and Operations Manager, who the Peaches Team line manage, and the team are looking to expand further with another employee later this year. Thanks to ever-increasing donations from the public, Peaches is continuing to grow. As it does, the support services offered will be increased and a national womb cancer awareness campaign is planned for later this year.
The University of Manchester Heart Heroes project recruits and trains a team of student volunteers each academic year to deliver ‘basic life support skills’ training to groups of students, staff and external community members. This involves a 2 hour lesson covering heart attack and CPR, using an AED, helping someone who is choking, and putting someone into the recovery position.
This year's volunteers have been really something special. Around 80 students applied for 40 positions so competition was tough. The students volunteering on the programme have absolutely excelled, and have so far delivered basic life support training to 170 participants at 12 sessions, with another 10 sessions planned before the end of the academic year. Session feedback is always incredible, and participants struggle to believe that they are volunteers who don't usually have a medical background. One of the Heart Heroes, Bethany Rutter, deserves a special mention for using her training to help a man who had collapsed in the street in November.
Once a Month is a project who have been working with local homeless charities to help women who are homeless, hidden homeless or living on the edge of poverty by providing them with essential sanitary and toiletry items. The project aims to reduce period poverty by creating packs containing sanitary and toiletry items to donate to a range of local homeless charities which then distribute the packs to their service users. Once a Month is also involved in the fight to reduce the stigma surrounding periods and to raise awareness of period poverty so the issue is not overshadowed by taboo.
In this academic year, 640 packs have been created which have been donated to four charities. These packs include essential sanitary items such as pads and tampons as well as toiletry items including shower gel.
Once A Month has a growing online presence which raises awareness about period poverty including how this has heightened during the cost of living crisis. With over 1400 Instagram followers and 60 volunteers engaging in the packing sessions, Once a Month has created a thriving community that educates and acts to tackle the stigma surrounding periods and to reduce period poverty in Manchester and beyond.