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Our past awards

Every year, we present special glass Purple Star Awards to acknowledge and thank supporters and health professionals who have made outstanding contributions to our work.

The Purple Stars are especially made for us by Celia Goodman, a glass sculptor and Pancreatic Cancer UK supporter who sadly lost her daughter to pancreatic cancer in 2010 at the age of 29.

Our Purple Star Awards are for an individual or group who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution in supporting the work of Pancreatic Cancer UK. We also present clear Star Awards for other noteworthy individuals. Read on to find out about our past winners.

2018 Award Winners

In 2018, we presented some of our supporters with awards at a special ceremony at our Annual Summit. You can read more about each winner by clicking on their names.

  • James FarrellJames Farrell, from Birmingham, was presented the Purple Star Outstanding Contribution Award for the exceptional work he has done to date in memory of his father, Peter, who he lost to the disease in 2013.

    James has shown continued commitment and enthusiasm by giving up much of his time volunteering with the charity and being actively involved in its lobbying work. He is determined that people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are able to spend more time with their loved ones.

    James said: “It is humbling to receive this award. Supporting Pancreatic Cancer UK in my father’s memory is a privilege and to be recognised in this way is really special, for me and my family.

    “The dire statistics associated with pancreatic cancer need to change and I am determined to do whatever I can to ensure our story is the exception rather than the rule. I had no idea what pancreatic cancer was before it devastated our lives. If we’d known the symptoms, who knows, maybe our story would be different.”

  • Andrea And JulieJulie met Pancreatic Cancer UK's Community Coordinator in Northern Ireland at an Information Stand on the day she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Throughout her chemotherapy, surgery, and very sadly the return of her cancer, Julie and her partner were committed to raising awareness of pancreatic cancer, helping with media interviews and other activities.  At the most difficult time in her own life, Julie selflessly dedicated her time to help others.

  • Alex Webb12-year-old Alex Webb from Bosham was presented a Fundraising Award for the outstanding work he has done to date in memory of his grandma who he lost to the disease.

    Alex, with help from his younger brother Ben, has raised more than £1,000 over the past five years through his own fundraising initiatives including; home-made biscuit sales, car washing, as well as the design, making and selling of Pancreatic Cancer UK inspired bracelets and flip-flops.

    Alex said: “I knew I had been shortlisted, but I had no idea I was winning the award. There are some amazing fundraisers out there who have done a lot for the charity in the past, so I was a bit shocked when they called my name – it was a really great surprise!

    “I’m having a think at the moment about the next fundraising project I’m going to undertake. I’m going to be cheering on my Dad this summer as he’s doing Ride London to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.”

  • Lesley and Seth .jpgLesley Goodburn from Stoke-on-Trent, was presented an Awareness Award for the outstanding work she has done in memory of her husband Seth, who she lost to the disease in 2014.

    Before he died, Seth asked Lesley to share the story of their journey through terminal pancreatic cancer so that it might help others in the future. To fulfil his wish, Lesley created Purple Rainbow, a community which raises awareness, fundraises and provides support to people affected by pancreatic cancer both online and across Staffordshire.

    Lesley said: “I am so happy to have won this award, it is lovely to be recognised for the awareness raising work that has been done in memory of Seth. I am proud to support Pancreatic Cancer UK, who work tirelessly to help people affected by pancreatic cancer.

    “Raising awareness is so important both for health care professionals and the public as signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer can often be very vague. The more awareness we can raise, the more chance we have of getting people to surgery for curative treatment – an option that was not available for Seth.” 

  • Keith RobertsKeith Roberts, Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreas Surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham was presented a Health Professional Award for the incredible work he has done through setting up a successful fast-track surgery pathway for patients diagnosed with operable pancreatic cancer. He was also commended for his ongoing research and his commitment to supporting and encouraging his junior colleagues.

  • Eden GalangEden Galang, Upper GI Cancer Nurse Specialist at York Teaching Hospital, was presented a Health Professional Award for going above and beyond her core professional role in order to enhance the experience of people affected by pancreatic cancer.

    Eden said: “I am completely amazed to have been presented with this award for just doing what I love, it’s a complete honour. I don’t know who nominated me, but I am just so thankful that someone thought highly enough of my care to put me forward.

    “I also want to give heartfelt thanks to Pancreatic Cancer UK for creating an award which celebrates the work Healthcare Professionals do. This recognition really means a lot to me and it will remind me that I am lucky enough to be in a position to provide help to people who need it.”

The Purple Star legacy

In 2016, as part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, we decided to award ten stars to exceptional supporters. We also give Purple Star Awards to key supporters throughout the year. Click on their names to find out more about our amazing Purple Star Award winners.

  • Linda Reardon SmallLinda has been a committed and passionate supporter of PCUK for the past five years since losing her mother to the disease. Linda tirelessly campaigns on our behalf, and is active in all areas of our work. She regularly supports campaigning work with a focus on Wales and the Welsh Assembly and will always represent us at any political events. In addition to that Linda has also fundraised for us extensively and consistently. She has always been instrumental in supporting Purple Lights and manages to organise the lighting up of several key buildings in Wales during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM).

    Linda has been key to trying to set up a support group in South Wales, working with a local hospice in Newport and the Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Linda was the original developer of the Families in Support of Pancreatic Cancer Facebook group and continues to contribute in a positive way to this group, always promoting the work of Pancreatic Cancer UK.

  • John Nathan Purple Star AwardJohn is a pancreatic cancer survivor who has been supportive of Pancreatic Cancer UK Since 2014. He has been a member of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), playing an integral role in the process through which we decide which research projects to fund each year and in assisting the Research team on site visits and at conferences.

    Each year, John will be sent a set of between 30 and 40 applications which will be considered for funding and takes the time to read through each, and provide written comments for a sub-set to which he is assigned to review. For these applications he is also asked to provide a verbal summary of his opinion at the meeting and is also considered, balanced and articulate (with world leading members of the SAB this year commenting on how succinct and relevant his comments were). This all takes an enormous amount of work on John’s part and he is always willing and punctual, and nothing is ever too much.

    Aside from this work, John also participates in support events, is a co-founding member of the Panpals group in Leeds that provides support and information at a local level for patients affected by this condition. This involves regular support sessions and fundraising activities. John also contributes in many other ways with the charity and support work, including involvement with the ‘Patient Survivor Group’, is a patient expert representative at NICE treatment appraisal meetings and regularly attends Charity events. John does this with willingness, passion and humility and is very deserving of an award.

  • Panpals Purple StarThe pioneering and first support group for people living with pancreatic cancer in the Dorset area were awarded for their dedication and continued support.

  • Roy And LesleyLesley lost her beloved husband, Seth, in 2014 and since then has campaigned relentlessly to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and in particular to raise issues around end of life and dying with dignity.

    Lesley is extremely articulate and passionate when representing Pancreatic Cancer UK (PCUK) and is always willing to help and support the work of PCUK in any way she can.

    Lesley’s passion has led her to write an educational play outlining her personal experience, which has been used to demonstrate the need for practices to change when dealing with pancreatic cancer and end of life. As a result of her work, this production can be rolled out at health educational and awareness seminars and was performed at the PCUK Nurse Study Day in Crewe in 2016.

    Lesley also worked with Emma Bridgewater to design and commission special PCUK commemorative mugs in memory of Seth with proceeds going to PCUK. She also held a fundraising ball for PCUK and has bigger plans for even more fundraising initiatives in the future. Her enthusiasm, tenacity and energy for the cause are inspirational and are definitely helping to change minds and hopefully practices in the field of pancreatic cancer and end of life.

  • Cath Mcgrath1Since 2014, Cath has been a member of our Scientific Advisory Board, playing an integral role in the process through which we decide which research projects to fund each year and in assisting the Research team on site visits and at conferences.

    Each year Cath will be sent a set of between 30 and 40 applications which will be considered for funding and takes the time to read through each, and provide written comments for a sub-set to which she is assigned to review. For these applications she is also asked to provide a verbal summary of her opinion at the meeting. She is very conscientious (often seeming to read through documents in more detail than the scientific members) and often raises valuable points from the perspective of someone with lived experience of pancreatic cancer. This enables us to be confident that the research we are funding is of the highest importance and relevance to people affected by pancreatic cancer.

  • Fiona HardingFiona sadly lost her husband Jim Harding in February 2015. Jim had kindly supported the charity right up to his death, and was able to offer Pancreatic Cancer UK the use of Arsenal Football Club for several events. Since his death Fiona decided to take on the challenge of doing 30 challenges by the time she was 30. Fiona has raised over £23,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK in Jim’s name and more funds are still to come. In addition to fundraising Fiona has also been involved in raising awareness of the cause and has done case study work for Pancreatic Cancer UK. She also has a blog for her 30 challenges by 30.

  • Roy And LesleyRoy is not only a great ambassador for the charity, he is also instrumental in sharing his knowledge and experience with other patients and families who may have been affected by pancreatic cancer.  Roy has become a valuable addition to the Patient and Carer Advisory Board for Pancreatic Cancer UK and is able to provide insight and knowledge around patient related issues.  Roy also has attended several of the charity ‘Living with Pancreatic Cancer Days’ and has supported new members of these groups.

    Roy has also selflessly shared his time with other patients via peer support mechanisms, this involves one to one visits, phone contact with newly diagnosed patients and their families.

    In addition to this he has regular contact with charity staff in respect of various agendas, i.e. sharing information, updating us on concerns in patient groups and issues that may need more research or intervention from a charity perspective. This is all done with respect, selflessness and integrity.

  • Carrie Purple StarCaroline started volunteering in the Pancreatic Cancer UK office in 2012 after losing her mother to the disease. She volunteered on a weekly basis and became a real asset to the team and was offered a permanent position. In addition to Caroline, her family have also donated many hours of time for free to the charity over the last few years, her family regularly attend the Virgin London Marathon, RideLondon 100 and Royal Parks to support the Pancreatic Cancer UK team. They are honorary members of the fundraising team!

    The Purewal Family have been active fundraisers over the last few years with the family raising nearly £12,000 for the charity. This is through challenge events such as RideLondon 100, and community events such as Call Everyone Dave Day. They still continue to carry out fundraising activities for the charity on a regular basis.

  • Carolyn Purple StarCarolyn has been so kind as to volunteer in our office once a week for over 3 years now. She lost her husband to pancreatic cancer and has supported her step son, Richard Farquhar, throughout his amazing fundraising journey, walking the courses for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

    Carolyn always comes in every Wednesday with a smile and is happy to help with any sort of task that she is given. She has helped with packing materials for study days, Living with Pancreatic Cancer Days and various other projects – some less exciting than others – and she never complains. Carolyn has also made a great impression on staff here – she always makes us giggle. Carolyn volunteers her time, asking for nothing in return and is very happy to do so for this cause that’s close to her heart.

  • Paula TrainorPaula works with the HPB CNS team at Leeds. She is a focal point for patients/carers using the service as she acts as a main point of contact and is able to direct patients/carers appropriately through the system and pathway. This helps alleviate anxieties for the service user and often facilitates a faster response as Paula is able to address issues and deflect some of the non-clinical workload from the CNS team.

    Paula has also been instrumental in her involvement with the local pancreatic cancer support group, Panpals.  Paula provides support in organising events, facilitating health professional education sessions, supports the fundraising work of this group and acts in a key role.

    Paula also acts as a support worker for the pancreatic cancer patient group, supporting patients at a difficult time if attending clinic for a new diagnosis, or commencing new treatments.  Paula’s empathetic and caring nature has seen her spend time with patients in a chaperoning capacity, ensuring they are not alone when finding their way around the numerous clinics and treatment services at Leeds.  As Paula has worked in other areas of the hospital she is well known and respected and will spend time with patients who may be isolated or in vulnerable situations so that their experience in the ‘pancreatic cancer pathway’ is not so terrifying.

    Paula has also been a great support to the team at Pancreatic Cancer UK for her support and commitment locally toward the ‘Living with Pancreatic Cancer Days’ in Leeds.  Her commitment is always selfless, humbling and with generous spirit and recognises that we are all working together for the cause.

  • Kim RowanKim Rowan was presented with her award at the Scottish Parliament for the outstanding contribution she has made to ensuring pancreatic cancer receives the recognition it deserves. Kim lost her beloved grandmother to the disease over five years ago and has worked tirelessly for Pancreatic Cancer UK since then. Kim’s great uncle also passed away 25 years ago. She said: “I think it’s shocking that in this day and age nothing has changed and that’s why I do what I do – to make change.”

    Kim said her Nana would have been “proud” of her award and vowed to keep up the pressure. She said: “I dedicated it to my Nana at the Scottish Parliament because this was something she wanted me to do.”

    Diana Jupp, chief executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Kim’s passion and dedication to the cause is paramount in ensuring pancreatic cancer continues to receive the attention it deserves and on behalf of the charity we’d like to extend huge congratulations to Kim for her ongoing commitment to pancreatic cancer and thank her for her tireless work.”

  • Steve Lewis AwardSteve Lewis was presented with his Purple Star Award in 2014. Pancreatic Cancer UK wanted to recognise Steve for his wonderful contribution to the charity, as he was instrumental in maintaining contact and support for many of the patients and families who use the forum. He was also a great patient ambassador with attending events and giving patient experience evidence at numerous events involving drug treatments and NICE approval. You can read Steve’s real life story here.

Health Professional Awards

As well as our awards for supporters, we also recognise the hard work and dedication of health professionals who work with people with pancreatic cancer. Find out more below.

  • Hcp Star Award LogoIn November 2016, as we celebrated our 10th Anniversary, we launched our Healthcare Professional Star Award to recognise a health professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the experience of their patients or carers. Nominations could be made by anyone affected by pancreatic cancer or by a health professional wanting to nominate a colleague. We looked for someone who has made a real difference. This included for example:

    • Providing additional support to patients and their families through a support group or other ways
    • Improving patient care by initiating something new, e.g. introducing fast-track systems, developing new information and communications, follow-ups
    • Offering additional support to a patient who might be recently diagnosed
    • Going the ‘extra mile’ and doing something which made a huge difference to someone going through the healthcare system with pancreatic cancer.

    We were delighted by the response and our overall winner was Dr Imran Ismail, a GP working in Bedfordshire.

    The following healthcare professionals were highly commended by our panel:

    • Guiseppe Garcea (Consultant Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgeon)
    • Lena Loia (HPB Clinical Nurse Specialist)
    • Duncan Spalding (Consultant in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery)
    • Prof Paula Ghaneh (Senior Lecturer)
    • Dr Rob Jones (GP)
    • Charmaine Graham (Nursing Representative)
    • Deidra Aimee (Palliative care)
    • Dr John Wood (GP)
  • In the past at our National Study Day, we have presented the Nurses Appreciation Award in recognition of the hard work, dedication and commitment of those in the field of hepato-pancreato-biliary nursing.


    2015 – Phil Whelan, Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist, Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital

    2014 – Lynne McCallum, HPB Clinical Nurse Specialist, The Christie Hospital, Manchester

    2013 – Claire Frier, HPB Nurse Specialist, The Royal Free Hospital, London