Frequently Asked Questions | FAQs | Breast Cancer Campaign

Frequently Asked Questions

We receive several calls each week from laboratories, universities, individual researchers and heads of department – all looking for funding. All applicants fill in a detailed form, which then goes out to at least two (and sometimes as many as eight) recognised experts in the field for their review and comments.

A professional in the same field will know where to look for inconsistencies and flaws, and will also be able to judge whether the budget for the project is reasonable. It highlights project duplication, where a team has a poor track record or a line of research which others have proved to be of no value.

These comments are then reviewed by members of Campaign’s Scientific Advisory Board, who will recommend to the charity’s Board of Trustees which projects should receive funding. Only those projects of the highest quality will receive funding. This is known as Campaign’s peer review process.

Our Scientific Advisory Board is made up of very experienced scientists, who are all experts in their fields and who are in touch with their colleagues in other countries. They are aware of what is happening in their field in other major centres. However, duplication of research is not always a bad thing - it can also be necessary to confirm that the first scientist got it right.

Yes it is. The improvements in quality of life and survival we are seeing now are the result of research in the past. Forty years ago, around 52 per cent of women in England and Wales diagnosed with breast cancer were alive five years later; the most recent figures show around 80 per cent.

However, even promising preliminary findings do not always yield positive results. We also have to eliminate the things that don't work as well. Sometimes some things work well in the laboratory, but not on the patient, and the only way we can find this out is through research.

While the Government does fund research into cancer itself, we believe that more research is needed if we are to beat breast cancer. Breast Cancer Campaign doesn’t receive funds from the Government to support breast cancer research, we rely entirely on voluntary donations for this. The Government does support the overhead costs associated with charity research through the Charity Research Support Fund and we are working with others to ensure that this fund is maintained and that it receives sufficient funding.

Campaign is fully independent and receives no financial support from the Government or other official bodies. We rely solely on voluntary donations from the public.

In common with most medical research charities, Campaign acknowledges that despite developments in areas such as cell culture and computer modelling there are occasions when potentially life-saving research still depends on the use of animals.

This is not an issue that we or any of our scientists take lightly. We are constantly striving to develop techniques that mean the use of fewer animals in research. All new medicines, no matter what they are, are required by law to be tested on animals.

As a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), Campaign supports the AMRC position on the use of animals in medical research, and will not fund animal research unless it is essential and there is no alternative.

In addition, Campaign grant holders are asked to ensure that any new procedure they employ, which reduces the number of live animals needed for research or testing, is communicated through the necessary media so that it becomes known to all who might make use of it.

Wherever possible our scientists aim to carry out their research on patients, on computers or on cells in a laboratory, and many of the projects we fund are like this. But ultimately, if they are all working towards the common aim of cutting deaths from breast cancer, they need to explore every available avenue, which might one day lead to new drugs, treatments and cures.

The pink ribbon, which is the international symbol for breast cancer awareness and Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, was introduced into the UK almost 20 years ago.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month aims to increase awareness of breast cancer so that women know what the symptoms are and seek help early enough, which increases their chance of survival. It also raises vital funds for breast cancer research. Over the years the initiative has become well established, however the need for awareness is still as important as ever.

The pink ribbon is not exclusive to Breast Cancer Campaign, and this is why sometimes it may seem that the ribbons are everywhere. We try to limit our use of the pink ribbon symbol to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to ensure that it has more of an impact. Our logo is the pink jigsaw piece, which symbolises the missing pieces of the puzzle that is the cure for breast cancer.

Yes - we aim to raise awareness of breast cancer issues with policy makers across the UK and Ireland, through our public affairs and campaigning activities. We also have an educational role. Together with other charities, we try to raise awareness among women, their families and primary care teams. This goes towards making those women who do have breast cancer seek advice early and quickly, and have access to the best treatment.

Our supporter magazine addresses different topics such as a literature review where we highlight some of the advances in research. Very often some of this information does not get reported by the consumer press and therefore we ensure that this gap is filled and that our supporters get this news and information.

We recognise that there may be times when we do not meet our high standards of supporter care. When this happens, it is important that we know so that we can effectively deal with the situation, try to prevent it from happening again and learn from our mistakes.

Read Our Complaints Policy

To support Breast Cancer Campaign’s new five year strategy, the charity has refreshed its brand identity and messaging. This is just one part of the strategy that will see us investing more into world-class research, influencing policy and practice, and bringing together the brightest minds to share knowledge and kick-start innovation – all with the aim of improving and saving lives.

The brand was reviewed and updated in 2011, and the external environment has continued to change significantly since then. This refresh is a further development in order to strengthen our identity, clarify our messaging and increase our brand awareness amongst our competitors.

The brand identity has a new look and feel, including an updated strapline – ‘Research that saves lives’ – which is more closely linked with the charity’s aims and mission. New brand guidelines that help staff, supporters, partners and agencies manage the updated brand effectively have also been developed.

‘Research that saves lives’ clearly identifies Breast Cancer Campaign as a research based cancer charity, which the previous strapline ‘Be Part of the Cure’ did not achieve. Our logo has featured a jigsaw piece since 2000, to symbolise the missing pieces of the puzzle that are the cure for breast cancer. Each research project is another piece of the puzzle that will help us overcome and outlive breast cancer.

The new brand will be rolled out gradually and will be complete by July 2014.

From trekking to running to jumping out of planes, there’s no end to the ways in which you can raise money to fund breast cancer research. Find out how you can help.

Whatever fundraising event you have in mind, we are here to help and support you every step of the way, and will always be available to help with any questions you may have. We have a number of fantastic fundraising packs which are full of great ideas and include all the information you need to start planning a successful event.

Order a fundraising pack:

Individuals: Call 020 7749 4114 or email

Schools: Call 020 7749 4114 or email

Colleges: Call 020 7749 4114 or email

University RAGs: Call 020 7749 4104 or email

Clubs, groups and associations: Call 020 7749 4114 or email

Companies: Call 020 7749 4129 or email

Breast Cancer Campaign is in partnership with BCR Global Textiles to support the charity through door to door textile collections. BCR will donate £40 to Campaign for every tonne of textiles collected. To ensure the legitimacy of an organisation fundraising in this way, check that a UK registered charity number is featured on the collection bag or accompanying literature, and contact them directly for more information. If in doubt, it may be best to donate unwanted items to your local, registered charity shop.

Information coming soon.

An internship is a voluntary placement in one of Campaign's teams at our office in London. We aim to give interns insight into working in the charity sector, real experience and skills that can be used in their future career.

The length of internships varies between one month and four months, and is specified on the vacancy details.

This varies by internship, and the details are set out in each vacancy, but the normal amount of time is three to five days per week. However, we appreciate that it is a voluntary scheme and you may have other commitments so we try to be as flexible as possible. Please outline your availability in your covering letter. 

Anyone wishing to forge a career in the charity sector whether they are undergraduates, graduates or those looking for a career change.

While relevant voluntary or work experience is desirable, our internships are aimed at those looking for their first experience of the charity sector, so we do not expect you to have any previous experience. 

As well as gaining an insight into how a successful team works and developing key skills, we will also provide a training session on CV and interview techniques to help you apply for future positions.

The internship is voluntary so you will not be paid. We will, however, refund travel expenses (London zones 1-9) and lunch (up to £5) each day. 

An internship will not lead to a job offer at Breast Cancer Campaign. However, during your internship you will have access to our vacancies. 

Yes, we will provide you with a reference upon completion of the internship.

We are able to offer internship placements to give an opportunity to anyone wanting to find out what it’s like to work in the charity sector. In return, you are able to help us in our work to make a difference to the lives of those affected by breast cancer.  

The most important information to include is the amount you want to donate, the registered charity number and the charity's name and address. We suggest using a statement like 'I give ____ per cent of the residue of my estate (or the sum of ____ ) to Breast Cancer Campaign, Clifton Centre, 110 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4HT, registered charity number 299758, to be used for its general charitable purposes and I declare that the receipt of the charity or duly authorised officer shall be sufficient discharge to my executors.'

Ideally, whenever your personal circumstances change. For example, when new grandchildren arrive, when you retire or when you move house are all good times to ensure your will suits your lifestyle. Marriage or the entry into a civil partnership will automatically cancel any previous will.

If your total estate is worth more than £325,000, anything over that amount is generally taxed at 40 per cent unless it passes to charity or a spouse or civil partner. So, for an estate worth £335,000 your inheritance tax will be 40 per cent of £10,000 (i.e. £4,000). Remember to include the value of any property, stocks and shares and savings when you calculate the value of your estate.

Your estate could be worth more than you think - especially if you own property or other assets or if you have life insurance. Smaller gifts are valuable to the Charity and are always appreciated.

Breast Cancer Campaign can't be sure exactly what projects will be funded in the future so it's better to state 'Breast Cancer Campaign's general charitable purposes' in your will. If you mention a specific project in your will and that project comes to an end, the Charity may not legally be entitled to receive your gift at all. One way round this is to state your preference in a Letter of Wishes. Your gift will still be received by the Charity even if that specific project has finished because your will would still state that the gift is for general purposes.

First of all, thank you. A gift in your will is valuable because it will help to fund important breast cancer research in the future. You have done a very personal thing and there is no need to notify us, but if you do, we can update you on our progress and on specific areas of our work that are of interest to you. Call our Supporter Care Team on 020 7749 4114 or email to let us know about your wonderful support.

The most important reason for making a will is to ensure your wishes are carried out correctly. By going to a solicitor, you can be satisfied that your will is legal and correct. Making a will is almost certainly cheaper than the legal costs of sorting out your estate if you don't. If you would like a list of specialist will-writing solicitors near to where you live or work, contact us on the telephone number or email address above. Alternatively, you can find a list of solicitors in your area at the following websites; England and Wales:, Scotland:

It is more tax-efficient to make a gift in your will because such gifts are exempt from inheritance tax. If your estate passes to a family member who then donates to Breast Cancer Campaign, you could end up paying up to 40 per cent of the value of your intended gift in inheritance tax.


Unfortunately not. The main reason for this is that anyone seeking to make a will should obtain independent advice. However, we can provide you with a list of solicitors in your area - call us on 020 7749 3713, email . Alternatively you can search online; England and Wales:, Scotland:


Yes, you can. We know that many supporters see this as a very fitting tribute to a loved one to include a gift in their will for Breast Cancer Campaign. If you have already set up a Pink Ribbon Tribute Fund in the name of your loved one your gift can be attributed to that, but please use the following wording in your will to ensure that we are legally entitled to receive your gift:

'I give ____ per cent of the residue of my estate (or the sum of ____ ) free of tax to Breast Cancer Campaign (Registered Charity No. 299758) ("the Charity") and I request the Charity (but without imposing any binding trust or legal obligation) to add this legacy to the Josephine Bloggs Pink Ribbon Tribute Fund but if prior to the payment of this legacy (and whether during my lifetime or after my death) the said fund has ceased to exist I request the Charity to use this legacy for its general purposes.'


Probably not. You can usually add a gift to an existing Will simply by using this codicil form.


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