We fund cutting edge scientific and surgical research into bowel cancer and other bowel problems
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Bowel & Cancer Research

Bowel & Cancer Research is a charity that funds ground-breaking research into bowel cancer and other bowel diseases.

The central vision of the charity is that no-one should die of bowel cancer, have to live with chronic bowel disease or face life with a permanent stoma.

With this in mind, we also raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer and other diseases, challenging taboos, and encourage and support people to get more involved in research. Through these activities we aim to Save and Change lives.

Bowel & Cancer Research: The Future

Our commitment to research into bowel cancer and related diseases has driven us, along with our partners at Barts & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, to fund and deliver the UK’s first National Centre for Bowel Disease and Surgical Innovation (NCBRSI). It became operational at the end of March 2012. The centre features a unique and cutting edge human tissue laboratory and will bring together a wide range of the most current research disciplines in one facility.

Saving Lives and Changing Lives

Linking with the NCBRSI, we pursue our aim to Save and Change Lives through research by funding two programmes

  1. Saving Lives: improving survival rates for bowel cancer sufferers through pioneering research into the spread and behaviour of cancer in humans.
  2. Changing Lives: investigating the causes, effects and treatment of bowel diseases other than cancer, specifically chronic diseases, such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease and chronic symptoms, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and, through pioneering innovations in surgery and device development, improve the quality of life of patients. In particular we aim to eliminate the need for patients to rely upon a stoma.


We give small “pump priming” grants for 12-18 months enabling researchers to investigate their ideas and gather the data for major grant applications and also commit to funding a national research fellowship, open to researchers around the UK for a piece of work which fits with the main themes of the NCBRSI.

Learn your BCA

We can save lives if everyone who has the symptoms of bowel cancer goes to the GP to get checked out. Our campaign “Learn your BCA” focuses on the 3 major signs, Bleeding from the bottom, Change in bowel habits, Abdominal pain. We know that it’s not pleasant often to talk openly about such things but catching bowel cancer early can make the difference between life and death and no one should ignore these signs.

What a Bummer

We take our research funding very seriously, but because people are often reluctant to think or talk about bowel function, our ‘What a Bummer’ campaign aims to bring out the fun side of bottoms.  Most people know at least one “bum joke”, so please visit the What a Bummer website where you can not only read others but also submit your own bottom related jokes. Together we can “kick bowel cancer up the arse”!


B&CR, violinist Byron Parish, Rev Donald Wrapson,  IMG_5989a


A violin which lay forgotten in an attic for more than 60 years has a new lease of life in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  - and has helped Bowel & Cancer Research to the tune of £370.

The instrument, made in Germany in the 1860s, belonged to retired vicar Don Wrapson’s grandfather.

“When I was a boy grandad use to play the fiddle at parties. And when he died in the 1950s, it sat in an attic because no one in the family could play,” said Mr Wrapson, 77, from Alvechurch, near Birmingham.

Then he discovered that his neighbour Byron Parish, 43, a first violinist with the CBSO, was running to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research.

“I asked if I could donate grandad’s violin,” said Mr Wrapson.

The instrument was valued, renovated and sold to Byron’s fellow-violinist at the CBSO, Jane Wright, raising £370 for us. 

“It’s a lovely story,” said Mr Wrapson. “My biggest hope was that it could be played again in a big orchestra. It’s absolutely the right thing to happen. The quality of sound is wonderful and I’m thrilled to pieces – it’s singing after such a long silence.”

Mr Wrapson was a hospital chaplin before retirement. “I came across the tremendous extremities of ill health. And last year I was visiting a man in  hospital who was diagnosed with bowel cancer so everything seemed to fit a pattern. It’s a beautiful resurrection story and I’m so pleased it’s worked out.”

Byron ran the London and New York marathons, the Great North Run and the Birmingham half-marathon in 2013 to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research and Myeloma UK.

“When the violin came out of the attic, it didn’t have any strings so we didn’t know what to expect. But when I got to play it for the first time it had a beautiful mature sound,” said Byron.

“I ran 826 miles last year, burned 97,912 calories and raised more than £5,000 for charity. Donald’s violin was a very generous bonus.”

We only receive voluntary donations to invest in our research programmes, so doing this is not only a lovely story, but it providing funding for work which may otherwise not happen. A hearfelt thank you goes to Byron and Mr Wrapson. 

You can still sponsor Byron – he won’t stop running – at www.virginmoneygiving.com/ByronParish

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