Rebecca Porta has been appointed the new Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research and Bowel Disease Research Foundation which are in the process of merging.

She arrives at a time when all charities are assessing the impact which Coronavirus will have on fundraising. She said:

Everything possible will be done to ensure that both charities’ funding of vital research into bowel cancer and bowel disease will continue

For the last ten years, Rebecca has been the Chief Executive of Orchid, the UK’s leading charity working on behalf of anyone affected by male cancer. Her career in the voluntary sector spans more than 20 years.

Under her leadership, Orchid has campaigned for better cancer care and developed a range of services for people affected by male cancer, including regional roadshows and health and education programmes.

She is involved in a range of collaborations and special interest groups to improve public health and cancer prevention, such as Network for Patients, Cancer52, and Cancer Campaigning Group. She is Chair of the Testicular Cancer Network.

Both Bowel & Cancer Research and Bowel Disease Research Foundation have complementary strengths and a really dedicated team who do a great job of raising money to fund research into bowel cancer and bowel disease

“I have no doubt that we can take the merged organisation forward in a really positive way and become an even stronger voice in the battle to beat bowel disease by funding the best research.”

Paul Reynolds, a Trustee of Bowel & Cancer Research, welcomed Rebecca. “We have no doubt that her leadership skills, along with her exceptional background in the charity sector, will be a huge bonus as the two organisations merge into one,” he said.  

Chair of Bowel Disease Research Foundation, Asha Senapati, said:

We are looking forward to Rebecca joining the team. She will bring a huge amount of experience and expertise as we merge our two organisations.

Both charities pride themselves on funding the best science, particularly in areas of research which are often neglected by other grant funders. Their annual joint income in 2018 was more than £1.5 million.

Together the two charities have awarded grants totalling £9 million in the last 10 years and more than £3.5 million in the last five years towards research into bowel cancer and bowel disease.

The official launch of the new charity will take place later this year when the new charity brand will be unveiled.