Lynne Walker, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, will take on the role of Chair of Trustees at Pancreatic Cancer UK today, when current Chair Sarah Roberts steps down.
Sarah has been a Trustee at the charity since 2010, and Chair of Trustees since 2014. Sarah has overseen a period of immense success and growth across all areas of the charity’s work. Since 2014, the charity has grown its annual charitable expenditure from £1.2 million to £5.5 million. This includes awards of over £3 million in grants to fund vital research into better diagnosing, treating and understanding pancreatic cancer. The charity has launched face to face services for the first time in a number of local areas, bringing its specialist nurses into communities in order to support more patients and families. It has also begun to provide regional study days in pancreatic cancer, which last year were attended by 500 healthcare professionals.
The charity also launched its Clinical Pioneers Awards, which fund innovative research in a clinical or community setting, and launched the first UK-wide online Clinical Trial Finder dedicated to pancreatic cancer. During its tenth anniversary last year, the charity rebranded to raise its profile and spread the word about its services and the disease.
Sarah Roberts said: “It has been an absolute privilege to be Chair of Trustees at Pancreatic Cancer UK, and I am so proud of everything that we have achieved together for patients and families over the past three years. The growth of the charity has been extraordinary, and I know that Lynne will ensure the charity continues to go from strength to strength.”
Sarah will now become a trustee at Thames Valley Air Ambulance.
Lynne Walker said: “Just five per cent of people with pancreatic cancer will live beyond five years after diagnosis. When I marked my five-year anniversary, I knew I was one of the lucky ones. I am passionately committed to ensuring that more people have the chance of surviving this disease, which is why becoming Chair of Trustees is so important to me. It is a real honour to be taking on this role, and I look forward to achieving even more great successes with the charity’s enormously dedicated and talented team. I also thank Sarah for everything that she has done for the charity and for people affected by pancreatic cancer.”
Pancreatic Cancer UK Chief Executive, Alex Ford, said: “On behalf of everyone at Pancreatic Cancer UK, I would like to say a huge thank you to Sarah for the enormous contribution she has made as Chair, and as a Trustee beforehand. We will all miss her, but we know she will continue to support the charity in many ways.
“We are very excited about Lynne becoming Chair of Trustees. She has played a vital role as a Trustee for two and a half years, and I know she will be an inspiring lead for the trustees and for the whole charity, particularly because she is a survivor of the very disease which we are taking on together.”