The staff of Scottish law firm Anderson Strathern have chosen Pancreatic Cancer UK as their charity of the year after a Director in the firm’s Employment and Pensions Unit lost her father to the disease.
Employees at the firm, which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and East Lothian, chose to support Pancreatic Cancer UK after Pamela Keys championed the charity and put it forward to the vote for the firm’s next charity of the year. Pamela’s father John Keys lived in Addiewell, West Lothian, was 64 and just about to retire when he was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. He died the following year, in 2011.
The 270-strong staff at Anderson Strathern launched the new partnership today (Wednesday, 8th April) and aim to raise £5,000 for the charity through the Great Anderson Strathern Bake Off, dress down days, runs and cycling events. They will also raise awareness of the disease during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in November, by taking part in the charity’s Purple Lights for Hope event, which will see their three offices lit up in purple.
Robert Carr, Chair of Anderson Strathern, said: “Anderson Strathern has a very firm commitment to corporate social responsibility and I am delighted that we are supporting Pancreatic Cancer UK as the firm’s Charity of the Year for 2015. We are looking forward to working closely with the charity and to taking part in fundraising activities. It is a privilege to be able to work with our charity partners and to help raise awareness of the impact of this disease.”
Pamela Keys said: “Dad’s diagnosis simply knocked the stuffing out of him. We were more or less told he would die within four months and, after that, it felt as though we were just sent home to deal with it on our own. We didn’t receive any tailored information about the disease. It was very distressing to see a loved one having to cope with a terminal diagnosis, very limited treatment options and the dreadful impact of the disease. I would not want anyone else to go through the same experience.
“I think Pancreatic Cancer UK’s work is so important for many reasons. It raises awareness of the symptoms amongst GPs which leads to earlier diagnosis, it funds crucial research into more effective treatment options, and it offers fantastic support to people and their families. I used the charity’s online Discussion Forum and while, like ours, most people’s stories were very sad, it helped to know we were not the only family going through such a traumatic time.”
Alex Ford, Chief Executive at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We’re delighted to be chosen as Anderson Strathern’s charity of the year, and want to thank Pamela for nominating us and everyone who voted for us. One person dies of pancreatic cancer every hour, and that’s what makes our research into the causes and treatments of the disease so crucial. Over 700 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Scotland each year, so it is vital we are able to continue to offer them and their families our free support. We are very much looking forward to working together with Anderson Strathern to make a real difference to people affected by this brutal cancer.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK is set to fund innovative research into the condition in Scotland later in the year through its Research Innovation Fund. The charity also campaigned for the chemotherapy drug Abraxane, which has been found to extend people’s lives for an average of two months, to be made available for patients with pancreatic cancer in Scotland for free on the NHS. The Scottish Medicines Consortium approved Abraxane for routine use in February. The charity also offers UK-wide support services, including its freephone pancreatic cancer Support Line, staffed by specialist nurses.