Category Archives: News

CANCER RESEARCH UK DONATIONS SUPPORTING FAT CAT SALARIES

We have exposed the lack of transparency Cancer Research UK has when it comes to where your donations go on numerous occasions. We have exposed the creative exclusion  of certain income streams which give the impression that a higher percentage of funds raised support research than actually do. We exposed possible fraud, misinformation, hypocrisy, and more. Now, we turn our attention to how much of the money the public give to CRUK funds not research, but fat cat salaries. You may be surprised.

The Chief Executive’s salary alone (£240,000 + benefits) requires 18,000 people supporting CRUK’s “donate just £2 a month appeal” for twelve months each after ‘on-costs’ are applied.

Using that same calculation, how many people donating “just £2 per month” does it take to pay CRUK’s top earners? 

Starting at the very top, CRUK’s top five earners receive over £1 million between them each year. Yes, you read that correctly. Over £1 million.

According to the 10 Percent Campaign, a further 219 CRUK employees earn over £60,000 per annum. This is up from 160 in 2013 and second only to Save The Children, and three times more than the next highest.

Let’s be kind to CRUK and assume that those 219 earn £60,000 and not, as is likely, more, meaning our calculation will be on the low side. That is still a whopping £13,140,000 every year, without on costs.

Let’s add the top five earners £1 million and then calculate on costs to understand how much CRUK needs to raise just to fund these positions BEFORE it funds any other jobs, offices, marketing……..oh yes, and research.

The figure is a mind boggling £24,745,000. Yes, you read that correctly, nearly £25 million, and remember our calculation is on the LOW side. Paying that amount would require over 1 million people to donate “just £2 a month’ for the full year. One million. Just to pay their top salary earners.

And these 224 employees make up less than 6% of CRUK’s total workforce of 3964. Again, yes, you read that correctly. Nearly 4000 people need paying, 224 at mind boggling rates, before a single penny funds the research you thought you were supporting. 

And then, the cost of making that “just £2 a month” commercial, CRK’s other slick marketing, office costs, a legal team the size of which would make many corporates blush, and more, and more, also come before any research is funded.

When you donate your hard earned money, it is worth considering what you are supporting. Is it research into cancer or a large, slick machine, which misleads, misrepresents, and which acts both hypocritically and unethically, lying about the origins of its own largest fundraising event (the Race for Life).

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

Notes:

Article first published on 6th September 2018.

Using 2016 salaries.

On-costs calculated using www.icalculator.info 

HOW THE RACE FOR LIFE CREATOR CONTINUED RAISING MILLIONS FOR CHARITIES DESPITE APPALLING TREATMENT BY CANCER RESEARCH UK

Having created the Race for Life only to see a member of staff at Cancer Research UK steal the idea and for the charity’s leadership to support a campaign of lies about the event’s origins (despite being offered evidence as to their claims being fiction), you could be forgiven for thinking that person would want nothing more to do with the charity sector.

Fortunately for a number of other charities that was not the case and Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life, has successfully helped to raise £millions for other causes over the intervening years.

The sheer volume of fundraising events that Jim has been behind is too large to list them all here, the following being just a sample.

For example Jim turned the Poppy Run into a national series of events taking place in all four home countries as well as being the only fun run to be officially staged in Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. And armed forces charities further benefited through the creation of the People’s Run 2 Remember, another national series, organised nationally by Jim through a dedicated network of local organisers.

Indeed, if you have taken part in any event which included the term ‘People’s Run’ in its title, you have taken part in an event organised by Jim for the many good causes associated.

Beyond running, he organised the Rio Three Peaks Challenge events, modelled on the UK Three Peaks but using the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro and supporting street kids around the world.

Jim Cowan on top of Corcovado during the Rio Three Peaks Challenge in 2016.

From pub nights to dinners, from fun runs to challenge events, from local to national and international charities, Jim has created and managed hundreds of events.

And he has also tackled a number of challenge events himself to raise further funds. From completing the Three Peaks inside 24 hours to taking on Hadrian’s Wall non-stop in 31 hours, and  completing the Fan Dance in just outside 4 hours to his current project, Challenge 72.

Challenge 72 will involve Jim and a friend, Aide Myatt, walking 72 miles, in under 72 hours, while each carrying 72lbs on their back, supported by four other friends. It takes place between 27th and 29th August and raises funds for the Grenfell Foundation supporting a community still struggling over three years on from the tragic fire.

If you would like to find out more about Challenge 72, which Jim describes as his toughest challenge yet, full details can be found at www.challenge72.co.uk along with a link to the Just Giving page.

After Challenge 72, what will come next for Jim? He doesn’t know yet. But you can be assured that despite the negative experience provided by Cancer Research UK’s theft of the Race for Life, he is far from finished supporting other important causes.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK ANNOUNCE CUTS AND REDUNDANCIES

After a disastrous drop in fundraising due to Covid-19, a drop forecast to hit £300m over 3 years, Cancer Research UK has announced cuts to its workforce including 500 redundancies.

While Race 4 Truth has issue with the organisation’s leadership, we feel for those members of staff affected by these cuts and send our best wishes to them all, together with our hopes that they all find new roles at organisations (hopefully with more integrity) very soon.

Of course, CRUK’s leadership are well know for their hypocrisy and we note that Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell has not announced that she will be taking any cut to her £1/4 million a year salary, nor that the numerous other expensive roles within her organisation will be doing the same.

And we can only imagine how bad the forecast might be without the Race for Life in their portfolio, the same Race for Life stolen from Jim Cowan, the event’s creator, by then CRUK employee Jill MacRae; and the same Race for Life Mitchell’s organisation then spent 25 years spinning numerous lies about its origins. Despite now knowing the facts, Mitchell has avoided correcting the lies choosing instead to look the other way.

And wouldn’t now be a good time to have someone like Jim Cowan, someone with the ability to create such a new, groundbreaking, fundraising event on your side instead of having deliberately lied about, ignored and alienated him over so many years?

In the Race For Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

THE TRUE STORY OF HOW THE RACE FOR LIFE WAS BORN

Early in 1993, John Cowan was diagnosed with the Prostate Cancer which would eventually take his life. The diagnosis motivated John’s son, Jim, to create a fundraising event to support the fight against cancer.

Through the summer of 1993, he researched what events already existed and searched for a ‘gap in the market’ – a gap big enough that it could be fully exploited to raise significant funds and increase awareness.

Although his starting point was his father’s Prostate Cancer, he ended up creating an event which raised funds for, and raised awareness of, women’s cancers. That event was to be called ‘The Race For Life.’

Jim had already organised a number of different fundraising events for good causes and also organised some road running events.

Using the road running events as a starting point, he identified that women were seriously underrepresented in running events, often with fewer than 15% of fields. It occurred to him that, surely, more women must want to run these events but, for some reason, weren’t, So, he decided to discover why not?

He found three key things were preventing women from taking part in road running:
1. The distances were generally considered too long. At the time most events were 5 miles and further. 5km road events were few and far between, 5000m being seen more as a track athlete’s event.

2. The events that were available were not viewed as ‘female friendly.’ The general atmosphere was very male dominated and, it was felt, unwelcoming for women.

3. Existing races were overly competitive, very serious and, put simply, just not fun.

Jim realised that, providing a solution to these issues would combine very well with his desire to create a new fundraising event to support the fight against cancer. That solution was to create a series of 5km runs, open only to women, which focused on fun not on competition. He called his idea, ‘The Race For Life.’

Initially, Jim took his idea to a breast cancer charity which, following consideration, declined the idea having decided it would not work. Then a conversation with a friend at his local athletic club opened the door to making an approach to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF – Cancer Research UK’s former name). That friend was about to start temping at the charity and promised to find a contact name for Jim to approach.

This she did, and on 5th October 1993 Jim wrote to ICRF’s Events Manager, Jill MacRae (nee Baker), outlining his idea. A meeting was arranged, which then led to Jim organising the very first Race for Life in Battersea Park in 1994.

The rest should be a matter of historical record. However, following the successful launch Jill MacRae decided to falsely claim the idea as her own and ICRF, and later CRUK, have denied the idea was Jim’s, coming up with a range of different stories and whitewashing him from any mention in association with the event.

It is time for Cancer Research UK to do the right thing, stop the lies, and recognise Jim for his amazing creation, one which has benefitted the charity by many hundreds of millions of pounds, opened up running to women, and which changed the fundraising landscape in the UK forever. And, one which should be a fitting tribute from a son to his deceased father.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK is lagging behind.

Below, a copy of Jim’s original letter proposing the Race for Life to ICRF/CRUK.

CHARITY SECTOR’S FAVOURITE HYPOCRITE STRIKES AGAIN

She’s at it again.

The charity sector’s favourite hypocrite is, once again, accepting recognition while continuing to deny any recognition to Jim Cowan, the man who created Race for Life, her charity’s biggest fundraiser.

Yesterday, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) were recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for their “outstanding contribution to tobacco control.” And CRUK’s CEO, Michelle Mitchell wasted no time in telling the world via Twitter.

We are not saying the recognition Mitchell and CRUK received from WHO is not merited, we are highlighting how hypocritical it is to accept recognition for yourself while knowingly denying it to someone else; someone whose creation has raised hundreds of millions of pounds for your charity.

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines hypocrisy thus:

Hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒk.rɪ.si); a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.”

And in refusing to give the recognition rightly due to Jim Cowan, every time they accept recognition (individually or as an organisation), or bestow recognition on others, they are acting hypocritically.

Back in January we catalogued Mitchell and her charity’s shocking record of hypocrisy asking whether she is the UK charity sector’s biggest hypocrite?

It appears it is a crown she is proud to wear. But then, she does love a bit of recognition!

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

CANCER RESEARCH UK’s £250,000 PA ‘VOLUNTEER’

Here at Race 4 Truth we have highlighted Cancer Research UK CEO Michelle Mitchell’s hypocrisy on numerous occasions.

We have also had a wry chuckle at her claims to ‘volunteer’ which, given her £250,000 pa salary, is a bit of a hollow claim given most people would define volunteering as giving up their spare time unpaid.

Well, she’s at it again. This time proudly Tweeting to the world that she had ‘volunteered’ at her local CRUK shop.

It is a ridiculous claim and, given the lengths many real volunteers go to for so many causes day in day out is more than a bit hypocritical.

But then, we have come to expect mind boggling hypocrisy from Mitchell. Indeed, if hypocrisy were a sport she would be world class. The £250,000 a year ‘volunteer’.

Instead of spending her time telling us about her fake volunteering, perhaps she could dedicate some time to bringing to an end over a quarter of a century of lies, deceit and hypocrisy and ensure her organisation finally recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

NOMINATE JIM COWAN AS YOUR RACE FOR LIFE HERO

In yet another bout of hypocrisy, Cancer Research UK are asking people to nominate their Race for Life hero (or heroes). 

This is the same organisation which refuses to recognise, let alone thank, the man who created the Race for Life; the man without whom none of the near £1billion it has raised would have been possible. Instead, they are trying to airbrush that man, Jim Cowan, from the event’s history while taking no steps to distance themselves from the fraudulent activities of Jill MacRae, the employee who faked creating the event herself.

Why not help us to speak against this hypocrisy, this lack of integrity; why not nominate Jim Cowan as your Race for Life hero; why not nominate the person without whom none of it would have happened?

To nominate Jim email your nomination and reason for nominating to: rflheroes@cancer.org.uk

To do so on Twitter, follow this link: https://twitter.com/raceforlife/status/1215914247059910656

To do so on Facebook, follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/raceforlife/photos/a.10150132516578689/10158345155913689

To do so on Instagram, follow this link: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7K85XRgR24/

Better yet, why not nominate on all four to really drive the point home!

Join us in ensuring Jim Cowan is not whitewashed from the history of the Race for Life and that he finally gets the recognition he so richly deserves.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

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ERASED! THE CREATOR OF RACE FOR LIFE SPEAKS OUT

Journalist Sonia Poulter asks, quite reasonably, “Jim Cowan created the phenomenally successful charity fundraiser, The Race for Life to honour his father who died with cancer. Why have Cancer Research UK erased Jim from history?”

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!

NEW CANCER RESEARCH UK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER FACING BIG CHALLENGES

Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, has now taken up her post following her appointment earlier this year. In her new role, she will face many of the same challenges facing all CEO’s, whether in the corporate or charity sector. Where is the organisation going? How will it maintain or increase growth? What will the broader economy mean to fundraising? And more, including understanding and improving public perceptions of the charity.

For over and above the recognised and accepted challenges, Michelle Mitchell faces some that should have no place in any organisation but especially not one in the charity sector, challenges which have festered for too long and which will continue to undermine confidence in the charity if left unaddressed.

They lie within the culture at Cancer Research UK, a culture whereby low integrity and dishonesty are acceptable, hypocrisy is the norm, and fraud by former employees is ignored.

Since launching the Race 4 Truth in May, we have reported on all of the above, citing examples and providing evidence where necessary. The deafening silence from Cancer Research UK speaks to integrity so low that the exposing of this sordid history is not deemed worthy of any comment whatsoever. But then, how do you defend the indefensible?

Our campaign started when Cancer Research UK lied about Jim Cowan having created the Race for Life, costing him a job.

It has traced the many and varied false claims from Cancer Research UK as to the origins of the event and provided evidence, including correspondence from a former employee crediting Jim with taking the original idea to them.

That same employee went on to falsely claim the idea as her own, a claim we queried as potentially fraudulent given it will undoubtedly have appeared on that individual’s CV thereby enhancing her career and gaining her monetary reward. And yet, Cancer Research UK have remained silent over the issue, other former employees even supporting the potentially fraudulent claims. And one can only ponder on whether those false claims were supported with references from Cancer Research UK which helped to embed the lie?

When it became apparent to the charity that the lie was exposed and that they could no longer deny that Jim Cowan created their most successful fundraising event, the policy shifted to one of not crediting anyone (barring one slip by an employee who credited yet another different source).

One can only wonder at the hypocrisy of an organisation, and individuals therein, who refuse to recognise the person who created their largest fundraising event, one which has raised over £1/2 Billion for the charity.

Hypocrisy? Absolutely. For although the charity and its leadership refuse to recognise Jim Cowan, they have been more than happy over the years to accept recognition for themselves; both the outgoing CEO (Harpal Kumar) and current Chairman (Leszek Borysiewicz) have accepted knighthoods in recognition of their own work. The charity and its staff have accepted awards for its work and they also hand out awards to others in recognition of their support.

All of the above in contrast to their refusal to recognise one man, a man who created an enormously successful event, one that changed the fundraising landscape in the UK forever. But who Cancer Research refuse to recognise, let alone thank.

Along the way we have uncovered other issues bringing the charity’s integrity into question. The (deliberate?) omission of any mention of the fact that not a single penny of the entry fee for the Race for Life supports research into cancer. Even asking a straight question as to how much of the funds raised via sponsorship funds research failed to elicit a straight answer, a straight answer we are still waiting for.

Low integrity, misleading supporters, dishonesty, support for fraudsters, hypocrisy. We can only imagine the depths to which these issues go when considered against the breadth of Cancer Research UK’s activities as oppose the recognition of one man’s brilliant creation.

The challenge of bringing about the cultural change needed to reverse the above wrongs cannot be underestimated. We wish Michelle Mitchell well as she takes up her new role and hope she will lead from the front and restore the integrity to Cancer Research UK, integrity which has been absent for far too long.

Not to do so, will only undermine public confidence further, in turn undermining the chances of success in those other challenges we mention at the beginning of this piece.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

PERCENTAGE OF CANCER RESEARCH UK INCOME GOING TO RESEARCH IS LOWER THAN THEY CLAIM

Cancer Research UK’s 2017-18 Annual Report claims “more than 80p from every £1” goes to funding research. However, a closer look reveals the figure is not an accurate one and omits certain income streams to paint a better picture than the reality.

The British public should, justifiably, be able to trust the charities seeking our support. They should be transparent in their dealings, ethical in their actions, and of the highest integrity in everything they do.

Sadly, as Race 4 Truth has exposed time and time again, Cancer Research UK are far from transparent, clearly unethical, and lack any level of integrity worth measuring.

A look at their most recent Annual Report (2017-18) reveals another way in which what they claim and reality are not necessarily the same thing, and demonstrates how when people think they are supporting a ‘worthy’ cause, far less of what they give goes where they expect it to.

The report claims that “more than 80p from every £1” goes to fund research (‘charitable activities’). And, using the same figures as they do, a quick check reveals this to be the case, 81% to be exact.

But, imagine you had a second job, a second income, one which cost you a bit more in transport and in uniforms. Given that extra cost, would you decide not to include it in any calculation to cover your family’s living costs? Would you not declare it?

Of course not. But that is what Cancer Research UK choose to do with what they call ‘trading income’.

This is the income from their high street shops. Importantly, it is also the income from things like Race for Life entry fees and merchandise sales.

Think about it, when you buy something from one of their high street stores, you assume that over 80% of their income supports ‘the cause.’ Why wouldn’t you? They say that is the case in their Annual Report.

When you enter the Race for Life, you assume that over 80% of the income it helps generate for the charity supports research into cancer. “This is beating cancer”, they proudly boast without telling you that not a penny of your entry fee goes to research and that not a penny of that entry fee is included in how they calculate their “over 80p from every £1” claim.

When this ‘trading income’ is included in the calculation (a not inconsiderable sum of £104m) the figure that goes to their charitable activities drops to below 74% (73.5%). More than a seven percent difference between the claim and the reality.

Although we believe it should be illegal for a charity to act in this way, it is not. We are not suggesting that Cancer Research UK are breaking any rules.

But what of trust? What of transparency? What of integrity? What of ethics?

If we can’t believe what a charity tells us on something as basic, as fundamental as where our money goes, what else are they telling us that we should be doubting?

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.