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Report on Cancer Does Not Discriminate

Irish in Britain’s information and development event ‘Cancer Does Not Discriminate’ 

by Policy Officer Sean Hutton.

This event took place in the Attlee Suite at Portcullis House, Westminster on 22 January 2017. Once again, we were there through the good offices of the All–Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Irish in Britain, and its Chair, Conor McGinn, MP, was there to welcome those attending this event.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Mary Tilki, the interim CEO of IiB, whose introductory remarks followed very much the lines of bullet points 1–3 in the Key Messages of her Race Equality Foundation Briefing Paper on Dementia and Cancer in the Irish Community.

Maria Caulfield, MP, is the Deputy Chair of the APPG on the Irish in Britain. She is also an oncology nurse. She delivered a presentation on the ‘big four’ cancers – lung, prostate, breast and bowel cancers. Mentioning, generally, improvements in the treatment of cancer in recent years, she  drew attention to a recent improvement in the area of bowel cancer, bowel scope screening for men and women over 55 years. Like other speakers, she stressed the importance of early diagnosis.

Rose Thompson, is the Director of BME Cancer Communities, and the author of author of Hear Me Now: The Uncomfortable Reality of Prostate Cancer in Black African Caribbean Men (2013). She has an interest in Irish communities and has supported the Shamrock Club, Irish Centre, Nottingham. See her presentation for this event.  

Kenneth Campbell is Chair of Friends & Bredrins Prostrate Cancer Support Group. He spoke about the Group at our event, and he is one of the people who can be seen speaking about the group in the opening video on their site.

The Cancer Self–Health Group at Irish Community Services was set up as a result of a previous Cancer awareness event organised by IiB. Their presentation was delivered by the Service’s Director, Ellen Stafford, and its Advice and Health Co–ordinator, Carol Moran, and we were very grateful to them for their informative presentation on this active project.

Several of the presenters were themselves Cancer survivors, including Mary Warrener, a member of Leicester Irish Forum, who spoke of her own battle with cancer.

Feedback from those attending the event included the following comments:

“Very informative and inspiring session”

“Excellent event, shame it was so poorly attended. Policy Advisory Group name may be off–putting to some community groups. Meetings need to be broadcast/streamed on line”

“Lots of good food for thought, and ideas for supporting Irish clients accessing our organisations”

“As usual with Policy Group – thought–provoking, informative, practical”

“Always, personal experiences are so valuable”

In answer to the question, Will any of the information you have obtained from this workshop be applied and used beneficially in your organisation? 

  • 14 (88%) answered Yes
  • 6% answered Possibly
  • 0% answered No

We shall take the feedback into consideration in future planning. 

See the news report on the event for more on what was discussed.