Pancreatic cancer charities complete merger

The merger of two pancreatic cancer charities has been formally completed, following their initial announcement in January 2020.

Pancreatic Cancer Scotland (PCS) and Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA) have now officially joined forces as Pancreatic Cancer Action, showing their commitment to making the 2020’s the Decade of Change for the world’s toughest cancer.

This merger brings together two organisations both of which formed in 2010, out of a need for a pancreatic cancer charity focussing on improving symptom awareness, early diagnosis and patient care in Scotland and the UK.

Helped by an extensive community of passionate supporters, both charities have grown organically, enabling them to make huge strides in advancing support, healthcare, awareness, research and education.

PCS and PCA have always enjoyed a positive collaborative working relationship. Addressing the urgent need to take more action and to achieve more together and faster, they have now merged to become one charitable organisation. This will enable considerable progress and impact towards their shared vision of making the 2020’s the Decade of Change for pancreatic cancer.

Driven by a need to increase pancreatic cancer survival rates, the merger is a commitment to the people of Scotland, and the UK, of a stronger united force, pulling together to take determined action to change the numbers, to improve the outcomes for patients and families.

PCA Founder and CEO Ali Stunt, a 12-year survivor herself, said:

“By coming together, we know we can make greater strides in making our vision, a day when everyone is diagnosed early and survives pancreatic cancer, a reality. Consolidating effort makes perfect sense at this time, especially when there are external challenges on organisations within the charity sector.”

Ali Stunt will be the Chief Executive of the merged organisation, with Fiona Brown, Development Manager of PCS managing the Scotland office, which will continue to use the PCS name. Work is underway to develop the combined organisation’s branding, future vision, strategy and action plans within the spirit of the merger.

Fiona explains, “Over the coming months our organisations will combine how we work to make sure we deliver our charitable aims together, in the best way we can. This is an exciting time in our 10th anniversary year, to strengthen and grow our combined activities, enabling us to add more value for our supporters, explore more opportunities and take more action to drive positive change.”

Pancreatic Cancer Surgeon Ross Carter, who co-founded PCS in 2010 said:

“PCS emerged in response to the devolution of Health Care to Scottish Government, whereby the governance, funding and delivery of health care, adopted a radically different approach of funding of care in Scotland relative to the rest of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland – whilst maintaining the NHS principles of the provision at the point of need.

“Ali Stunt and I have known each other as pancreatic cancer activists prior to the formation of both PCS and PCA, and we have extensively collaborated for over a decade on many projects. This merger provides a symbiotic platform whereby both charities can benefit. We can minimise overheads, maximise innovation, optimise patient and carer benefit. Taking this action is an ideal fit for our concept of the ‘Decade of Change’.”

PCS was mainly volunteer-led until as recent as 2017 and continuing the original ethos of volunteer involvement in Scotland, a new Scottish Development Committee (SDC) of PCA has been created. With all funds raised in Scotland continuing to benefit Scotland, the SDC will bring together trustees, volunteers and employees, to provide an advisory role to support the direction and development of activities and projects.

Dedicated PCS volunteer and trustee Alison Clancy also joins PCA as a Volunteer Trustee, she told Charity Today:

“I am excited about the merger of PCS and PCA, two wonderful charities, striving for the same goals. Their combined efforts mean there will be a united front across the whole country, supporting patients and their families who are affected by pancreatic cancer. Having had personal experience of the pancreatic cancer journey and being a volunteer trustee with PCS, I was able to be involved in the merger process and I am thrilled to continue to have an active volunteer role within the newly merged organisation and Scottish Development Committee. Patients and families need a voice in Scotland!”