Together Against Cancer wins Best Cancer Service prize at Live Better With’s Spotlight Awards

together against cancer team Best Cancer Service prize
Stephen Gamble, Melanie Gamble, Emma Wennington, Angie Charlesworth, Natalya Tally Kotadia of Together Against Cancer at the official centre opening in October 2016

Together Against Cancer (TAC) has been awarded the Best Cancer Service prize at the inaugural Spotlight Awards by Live Better With.

Founded in 2008, Together Against Cancer is an international charity dedicated to helping people diagnosed with cancer in the local area of Leicester and the rest of the UK. 

We spoke to Melanie Gamble who helps manage the charity to find out more about this incredible organisation:

Together Against Cancer is a charity dedicated to helping people diagnosed with cancer. They also hold free workshops for cancer patients, conferences for professionals and the general public and provide grants to other charities who provide support and complementary therapies direct to cancer patients.

The charity was founded by Larry Mackay in April 2008. He also started a similar charity in the US and he has been involved in charities for many years.

TAC started off first just offering grants to other organisations who work directly with people who are affected by cancer, such as Bristol-based charity Penny Brohn UK. A few years later, they started to run their own workshops, as well as providing grants. The first ever workshop was all about eating healthy, aptly named Eat Well to Outsmart Cancer. The workshops became very popular, with cancer patients travelling from across the country to attend.

“We’re astounded by the response that we’re getting from people in the local area – and people from further afield,” said Gamble who manages the charity alongside a great team. “Even though we’re based in Leicester, we regularly have people come in from London, we’ve even had a lady who travelled five hours to get to us from north Wales!”

best cancer service TAC
The centre provides a safe and comfortable place for cancer patients to go

“We were surprised by the workshop’s popularity,” Gamble explained. “After a year, we realised that we really needed to have a base. Because all this time, the charity was being run from my home – my husband and I did everything from home in a very small room and our garage.”

The Together Against Cancer centre, which just celebrated its first birthday, is located on Humberstone Lane in Leicester.

best cancer service workshops
The centre hosts weekly workshops to help advise, inform and support people with cancer

“As well as our weekly workshops, the centre is actually open 9:30 – 4:30 from Monday to Friday,” Gamble, said. “We act as though we are a drop-in centre. So if people feel like they want to get away from home for a few hours, they can come. We have a library of books, people can borrow books to take home, we have a quiet room for some chill out time, we provide yoga sessions.The centre is a Godsend for people who have just been diagnosed with cancer or are already on that journey.

She added: “From our experience, people with cancer need support for a lot longer than a couple of months. We will offer support for one, two, three years or whatever it takes. We’re there to support them for as long as they need it.”

And on winning the award, Gamble said: “When we found out we had won the Spotlight Award, we were on a high for a few days! We want to do something great to celebrate.”

best cancer services

The first of its kind, the Spotlight Awards shine a light on the achievements of truly remarkable people, products, and services in the cancer community. Nominated by the public, and voted by a panel of expert judges, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from across the world.

The Spotlight Awards have been organised by Live Better With, an award-winning online platform where cancer patients and their loved ones can find products and information to help with the symptoms and side effects of living with cancer.

See the full list of Spotlight Award winners here.