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    After bowel cancer

    Researchers are seeking help to develop an online resource for people following treatment for bowel cancer.

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    Chronic constipation

    I in 10 people live with chronic constipation. The UK’s largest ever study is being run from the National Bowel Research Centre.

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    About bowel screening

    Catching bowel cancer early makes all the difference. Read about screening as a vital tool.

  • Be bowel cancer aware


    Know what to look for and when to act. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Visit our awareness page

41,075 People

In 2013 more than 41,075 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer. It’s the 2nd biggest cancer killer and takes a life the equivalent of every half an hour.

620,000 People

Up to 620,000 people live with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Still incurable, Colitis and Crohn’s disease often begin in childhood – most under 18s are diagnosed at the age of 12.

100,000 People

21,000 procedures are carried out every year that result in the formation of a stoma and it is estimated that up to 100,000 individuals at any one time are living with a stoma.

Bowel cancer takes lives, and other bowel diseases can cause misery and devastate people’s quality of life. Colitis and Crohn’s disease can cause such pain that they can only be managed with morphine-based drugs which have to be administered in hospital.

Despite the serious impact of bowel disease, it receives about half the funding that its impact merits, perhaps because bottoms, bowels and their function are one of the very last taboos.

Bowel & Cancer Research is a registered UK charity. We fund the best research around the UK to investigate new ideas and we support our future experts through a PhD studentship programme. We also involve patients, their loved ones and carers in our own and our partners’ research.

Among other achievements, our support has delivered the first National Centre dedicated to bowel research, progressed our understanding of how bowel cancer develops and is helping us to understand and manage pain for people living with chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Bowel & Cancer Research – Saving Lives and Changing Lives.

Make a difference today

We receive no funding from government, your support is vital.

It's Crohns and Colitis Awareness Week

Seb, founder of IBD Relief, shares his colitis diagnosis story on our blog.

Read more and share to raise awareness. Find out more

“I am around today thanks to investment in research.”

Paul Reynolds B&CR Chairman and bowel cancer survivor

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Safety Cabinet


What is it?    A biological safety cabinet or microbiological safety cabinet – is an enclosed, ventilated laboratory workspace for safely working with materials contaminated with, or potentially contaminated with, pathogens requiring a defined biosafety level.

What can you do?   Use your local knowledge and expertise to organize a special event.

How you can do it:   Think about what you might do, and when, as well as who you know; also where you could have your event; are there any good free venues you could use? Next consider who you could target for support and how you’d get people to attend. Use your local knowledge and expertise to develop a special event in your area. We can help you devise a PR campaign to get your local media behind your event to let everyone know what you are doing and boost ticket sales.

Case study:   Jo Middleton’s Clay Pigeon Shoot. Jo Middleton and her family were devastated when after a short illness, husband Jim sadly died of bowel cancer. In time, Jo and her family decided they wanted to do something positive in his memory to raise funds for bowel cancer research. First daughter Sarah and life-long friend Carol Manion trained for months and then in 2011 trekked Hadrian’s Wall and between them raised over £9,000 in sponsorship. The following year, Jo decided to organize a Clay Pigeon Shoot as a memorial to Jim who had organized many shoots over the years.

Jo put together a small team including her son and daughter and planned a shoot in a local quarry. She then went through her address book and invited all her local contacts and friends. Jim had been a very popular man in the community and people signed up in droves. An article in the local press helped to attract nearly 30 teams and even people who couldn’t make it still sent in cheques. An extremely successful shoot took place on a brilliant June day in Scopwick, Lincolnshire.

What they raised:   An amazing amount of over £6,000.

How it made them feel:   Commented Jo:

We all felt it was a fitting tribute to Jim and that he’d have loved it. We will try to organize an event every other year to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research.

– See more at: http://bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.rr4gGV9q.dpuf


Glassware for 1 Research Item


What is it?   Glassware is used in laboratory applications such as, volumetric measurements, transporting materials, mix chemicals or just used to generally store reagents or samples.

What can you do?   Carry on running with a Half Marathon like Silverstone or the GNR.

How you can do it:   If you are enjoying your running, this is a great way to step up from fun runs. With a bit more training over a few months, you’ll be comfortable with this distance as well getting seriously fit! There are half marathon runs going on all over the country. You can register for one near you at www.runbritain.com or if you’d like to run the Silverstone Half Marathon round the F1 track in March or The Great North Run – the world’s largest half marathon – in September, you can contact us for one of our guaranteed places. With a guaranteed place in these events, we need you to raise £400 sponsorship for us. Setting up a page with Virgin Money Giving is the best way to start your fundraising campaign. Then all you need are 20 really nice people to sponsor you for £20!

Case study:   Since he got the running bug 6 years ago, Mark Street, from Great Longstone in Derbyshire, has been a regular supporter of Bowel & Cancer Research, running hundreds of miles and raising thousands of pounds. He chose to support Bowel & Cancer Research because bowel cancer has affected members of his family. Mark loves half marathons, especially the Great North Run, but has also gone full distance running both the London and Edinburgh marathons. Mark, whose nickname is Beanie because he’s tall and thin, usually jogs or cycles to work five days a week, trains at lunch times and runs up to 14 miles on a Sunday with his son-in-law Greg. Running is now very much a family affair. After he started running, his wife Lal joined him. Now the couple, along with their 3 daughters Molly, Jane and Thea are all keen runners.

What did you raise?   On his most recent fundraising page (there have been a few) Mark has to date raised £2,679.91! As he clocks up the miles, so the funds roll in. Keep on running Mark!

How did you feel?   Commented Mark:

“It’s great that as a family we share the same interest. Running is something we can enjoy doing together as well as raise money for a good cause”

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf




What is it?    Disinfectant is used to ensure protection of the researcher from pathogenic organisms. Quite often used in the occurrence of spill clear up’s or simply to clean surfaces and instruments.

What can you do?   Donate just £2 per week at www.bowelcancerresearch.org How you can do it? Give something up! Give up just a couple of chocolate bars, or two packets of crisps or a cappuccino for a week then visit our website to donate £2 per week or £8 per month.

Donate online securely by credit or debit card via Paypal or set up a standing order. Or you could give as you earn straight out of your salary if your employer has a payroll giving scheme.

How will you feel? Virtuous! And all you’ve given up are some calories…nothing else!

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


PH metre


What is it?  A PH meter is an electronic device used for measuring the pH acidity or alkalinity of a liquid.

What you can do?   Do an overseas challenge like climbing Kilimanjaro

How you can do it:   Follow a dream! You’ll probably need to train to do this, not to mention overcome a degree of difficulty, so make sure it’s something you find really aspirational. Choose a reputable tour operator like Classic Tours and when you’ve booked your trip, let us know so we can help you not only have an experience of a lifetime but raise funds too. Setting up your Virgin Money Giving page is a great way to start your fundraising campaign and we may be able to help you generate some local PR around your challenge and why you are doing it.

Case study:   When intrepid walker Rachel Fabb, from Hammersmith, with her mum Vivienne, and friend Frances Arbuthnot decided to climb the highest peak in Africa, they hoped to raise £1,000 for Bowel & Cancer Research. The trio were following in the footsteps of Rachel’s dad Patrick, a farmer who died in 1982 from bowel cancer and who had himself climbed Kili. Rachel’s uncle, John also died from the disease as did Frances’ mother Muriel Williamson. All three women made it to Kilimanjaro Base Camp in 6 days and Rachel and Frances got to the top.

What they raised:   This amazing achievement was topped only by their fantastic fundraising which peaked just below £5,000 – a truly FAB result!

How it made them feel:   Rachel commented:

“Getting to the top of Kilimanjaro was amazing. It was a truly exhilarating experience. Even though I was very young when my Dad died, doing this made me feel close to him. Our fundraising went better than we could ever have imagined and I definitely want to carry on raising money for Bowel & Cancer Research.”

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


Disposable Plastic Wares


What is it?   Specimens of human tissue are collected via pathology and relocated to the laboratory in specimen pots for the researchers to dissect and conduct their experiments.

What you can do?   Like cycling? Try a 100K cycle ride round London with Nightrider.

How you can do it?   Sign up to do Nightrider, an organized cycle ride around London taking in all the iconic sights – at night! Click here for more details about this exciting event which takes place every June.

Tell all your friends, family and contacts what you are doing and circulate your page to start collecting sponsorship pledges, together with Gift Aid where appropriate

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf




What is it?    A laboratory fridge stores reagents/chemicals/solutions at specific temperatures to keep them stable.

What can you do?   Start running with a gentle 10K run like the BUPA London 10K.

How you can do it:   Even if you are a novice runner, this is a great way to start. With just a few short weeks of training, you could soon be doing this distance in around an hour. There are 10K runs going on all over the country. You can register for one near you at www.runbritain.com or if you’d like to run the BUPA London 10K which takes place on the Spring Bank Holiday you can apply to us for a guaranteed place. With a guaranteed place, we ask runners to raise a minimum of £300 sponsorship. Setting up a page with Virgin Money Giving is the best way to start your fundraising campaign. Then all you need are 30 people to donate a tenner!

Case study:   Dean Jarvis, I’m a keen runner and was gutted when injury forced me to pull out of a half marathon event I’d been planning to run in March 2011. Bowel & Cancer Research gave me a place in the BUPA 10K in May 2011 and I went on to do the London Marathon for them in 2012.

What did you raise?    Just over £2,300 plus Gift Aid

How did you feel?   Dean commented:

“A friend of mine received a bowel cancer diagnosis and he was uppermost in my thoughts when I was running. Doing this event after being injured was a stepping stone which marked my recovery from injury. I’m really grateful to Bowel & Cancer Research for giving me the opportunity to run for them in such brilliant events. “

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf




What is it?   Stopwatches are used in laboratory work where precision timing is required.

What can you do?   Text a gift

How you can do it:   Imagine giving us your loose change. Just text BCRW15 to 70070 and donate your choice of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. It’s a safe and secure way to donate via your mobile phone.

How will you feel?   That was so easy! And no charges!

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


A Researcher for a Year


What is it?   Exactly what it says on the tin-a researcher for an entire year!

What can you do?   Organise a team of well connected individuals to fulfill a personal ambition and use their contacts to raise maximum sponsorship and publicity

How you can do it:   If you really believe in something, great things are possible. Persuade some like-minded individuals to work with you. Form a team to organize and plan what you are doing. Allow each person to take on the role to which they are best suited. Make the most of all of your contacts – family, friends, business and network like crazy. Get your local press on side.

Case Study:   Chris Seery and Fathers @ Brandeston were a group of like minded Dads, whose kids all attend Brandeston Preparatory School in Suffolk. The Dads – a farmer, an accountant, a financier, a company director, a coffee entrepreneur and a financial consultant shared a basic philosophy that some of us are lucky and some of us less so. They wanted to help and hoped others would too.

The decided to set themselves a challenge to test themselves physically and in the process raise significant funds for two small charities, one local and one national, to really make a difference to those organisations. Their challenge was to raise at least £50,000 for Bowel & Cancer Research and the East Anglian Children’s Hospice (EACH) by cycling the 700 miles from John O’Groats to Brandeston School in nine days, finishing on Father’s Day, 17th June. When it came to selecting the causes, one of the group, Chris Seery, had a very personal reason for pushing for Bowel & Cancer Research – he was living with bowel cancer. Chris knew how serious his condition was but believed passionately that exercise was the best medicine and that it gave him the strength to fight the disease. He felt each day was a blessing and in getting so behind this challenge and the fundraising, he was determined to give something back. The Dads set up a page with Virgin Money Giving, worked with the East Anglian Daily Times and used all their contacts to bring in hundreds of sponsorship pledges.

What they raised: Over £51,000 split between Bowel & Cancer Research and EACH.

How it made them feel:   The Dads who completed the ride felt a huge sense of achievement when it was over but they were all greatly saddened that Chris Seery, who so inspired this challenge, was not able to take part due to deteriorating health. He was however with them in spirit on the cycle ride and there to greet them when the cycled into school on Fathers’ Day. Sadly Chris lost his brave fight against bowel cancer later that summer. His legacy lives on however in the hopes and aspirations of his wife and sons and in the work at Bowel & Cancer that he did so much to help.

All the fundraising stories featured are real and the fundraisers themselves are all happy to share their knowledge and expertise. So if you’d like to have a go at any of these events or activities that have already been tried and tested and which have delivered, you might find it helpful to speak to someone who has actually done it. Please contact micky@bowelcancerresearch.org in the first instance and it can be arranged.

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


Analytical Balance


What is it?   An analytical balance is designed to measure small mass in the sub-milligram range. The measuring base of an analytical balance is inside a transparent enclosure with doors so that dust does not collect and so any air currents in the room do not affect the balance’s operation.

What can you do?   Organise a musical event like a jazz night, choral, concert or carol service.

How you can do it:   Use your contacts! Events like these work best when the performers are sympathetic to the cause and are prepared to donate or discount their performance fees. These events lend themselves to venues like clubs, village halls and churches where rates can be modest and there’s scope to organize cost-effective food and drink. Also people attending a charity gig are prepared to pay more when they know it’s for a good cause.

Case study:   Chris Wigely is an enthusiastic jazz player who organizes events all over Norfolk. In early 2011 he wanted to raise money for us because his Dad, Pete, had just come through an operation for bowel cancer and his Mum lives with Crohn’s Disease. Chris persuaded fellow jazz players in the Phoenix Jazz Band to play at a Jazz Night he organized in his local Sculthorpe Village hall. He sold 100 tickets, organized a raffle and his family did all the food. A great night for all!

What they raised:   Chris set out to raise £750, but surpassed this to bring in an impressive £1,120.

How it made them feel:   Chris commented:

“This is a great cause and one that really resonates with me because of what my parents have been through. I’ll keep on raising money with events like this, doing what I love doing! It’s win-win all the way.”

And he has – last year Chris raised over a £1,000 once again on behalf of his friend Pippa Gorman who ran the 2012 Virgin London Marathon for Bowel & Cancer Research.

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


Set of Gilson Pipettes


What is it?    A pipette is a laboratory tool used to transport a measured volume of liquid. Measurement accuracy varies greatly depending on the style. Like a paint brush to an artist, a Pipette is a researcher’s most valuable tool.

What can you do?   Organise a dress down day and/or a cake sale at work

How you can do it:   These are great fundraisers if you are in a large work place and you can persuade your company to let you have a themed day. You may work for a generous employer who will match what you as employees raise. Even if your company has an official charity of year, they may let you have a one-day event, especially during April which is bowel cancer awareness month.

Case Study:   Louisa Smalley persuaded her friend Teresa Hobbs at Credit Suisse to obtain permission for a dress down day at their main London office. Teresa promoted the dress down day on the company’s intranet and distributed the charity’s bowel cancer awareness cards.

What they raised:   After hoping to raise at least £500, mangers and staff paid up so generously on the day for the privilege of coming to work in jeans and other more relaxed attire that a stunning £1,772.09 was raised!

How it made them feel:   Louisa commented:

Bowel & Cancer Research’s work is very close to my heart. After suffering chronic constipation for years, Prof Norman Williams, the charity’s founder, gave me back my life when he successfully performed a new life-changing operation on me. I am very happy to persuade my contacts to support Bowel & Cancer Research and to act as an ambassador for them”

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


IT, Software and Recording Equipment


What is it? There are 2 main extraneous parts to the rig- the recording apparatus and the stimulus generator. The recording apparatus converts the signals from the transducer into information the computer can recognise. This is a fairly complicated job, but can be summarised as follows. The transducer sends out an analogue voltage signal as its output. This is sampled and digitised by the recording apparatus so the computer can recognise the signal. We take 1000 samples every second! The recording apparatus can also filter out signals that have no relevance to the muscle movements. This digital signal can then be plotted onto the computer using special software which we use to take our measurements from.

The second important bit of kit outside the hood is the stimulus generator. This allows us to apply an electrical stimulation to the tissue. We apply very short (0.5 milliseconds, or one twenty thousandth of a second!), but very strong (50 volts, enough to give you quite a large shock!) electrical pulses to the tissue to selectively stimulate the nerves in the tissue. We can change the stimulus using the stimulus generator program on the computer, to change how fast or how strongly we stimulate the tissue. The stimulus generator uses this information to set the stimulator, which is connected to a current booster to give us even more power! This allows us to carefully control our stimulus of the tissue, without which we could not perform research on the nerves that control gut movements.

What you can do?   Get a team to run an event like the BUPA London 10K

How you can do it:   We recommend any group wishing to run in this event secures their places in advance. The event is usually open for registration up to the end of the year prior to the event i.e. best to apply by December 2013 for places in May 2014. Once you’ve got your places, start your training, decide on a name, agree a fundraising target and set up an online team fundraising page. Then circulate it as widely as possible and watch the sponsorship roll in. We can help you generate some local PR also to raise awareness and boost your fundraising too.

Case Study:    In 2012, Professor Charlie Knowles, director of the new National Centre for Bowel Research and Surgical Innovation, led a 25-strong group of clinical and laboratory researchers from QMUL, The Wingate Institute and The Royal London Hospital, together with former patients, supporters of the charity and their friends and family to raise funds for Bowel & Cancer Research. The objective was to raise money for a specialist centrifuge that was required in the human tissue research lab located within the NCBRSI. Office staff got behind the team to help with the fundraising and also provided a lovely post-race picnic in the park.

What they raised:   A fabulous figure in excess of £5,000

How it made them feel:   A job well done for what was really a lark in the park!

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


Researcher Gloves


What is it?    Nitrile gloves are disposable gloves used during laboratory research and the handling of hazardous materials.

What you can do?   Write a cheque for £50 or donate online and save the stamp!

How you can do it:   Send e-cards instead of Christmas cards and send us what you save! Dine in with an M&S meal for £10 instead of dining out and let us have the difference!

Celebrate with prosecco instead of vintage champagne and forward us the saving!

If 1,000 people did this it would fund a researcher and all their consumables for a year!

How will you feel? You won’t miss a thing! But you will feel good!

– See more at: http://www.bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.Mb1nYzEy.dpuf


Tissue Baths


What is it?  Tissue baths allow us to keep human tissue obtained from surgery healthy whilst we perform our experiments. Using human bowel tissue is an important aspect of our work. Human tissue can differ from animal tissue in many ways, from the proteins expressed by the tissues to the types of responses to drugs. This reduces the number of animals used in research, and allows us to study tissue from patients with rare diseases.

What you can do?     Organise a disco for school kids

How you can do it: Get together a small team. This is so much easier than an adult event – no bouncers or licenses required! Best age group is 11-13 year olds. Events lend themselves to school, church, town or village halls or even clubs on off peak nights. Throw in simple food and drink and some good sounds. Then pick a “theme”, organize a raffle and this can be a great, low cost fundraiser.

Case study: Tanya Fattal and friends ‘Neon Disco’ at Hampstead Town Hall. Tanya Fattal has not let a chronic and at times debilitating GI condition hold her back. Inspired by the help and support she received from her doctor, Tanya wanted to raise money for Bowel & Cancer Research. With friends Gaby Khalastchy and Ria Semp, she hit upon the idea of doing an end of summer term disco for kids who aspire but ‘go clubbing’ but are of course too young. Securing Hampstead Town Hall as a venue, selling tickets through friends in local schools, Tanya and her co-organisers targeted the parents of pupils and publicized the event in the local paper. Tanya then roped in a DJ and obtained lots of raffle prizes from local retailers. Choosing a ‘neon’ theme ensured not only a very successful event, but a colourful one too.

The girls encouraged all who attended to join up to their facebook page and collected much of the ticket money through their online fundraising page. Both provided valuable contact information for future events.

What they raised: This brilliant bash raised a fantastic £3988!

Tanya commented:

It was amazing! Went really well and people are already asking when we’ll be doing the next one. It’s just fantastic that you can make so much money out of people enjoying themselves!

…and they have carried on – Tanya and friends have since organized a further disco, this time in a local club and the running total from her events now stands at over £8,009!

– See more at: http://bowelcancerresearch.org/lightuplab/#sthash.MmlSQTJK.dpuf