Tag Archives: Charity


This week is Volunteers Week and Cancer Research UK and Race for Life have been busy using social media to thank some who have been giving their time and supporting them in one way or another.

This is how it should be. Those who support them, or any other cause, should be given due recognition and thanks for their contribution no matter how small or large.

However, conspicuous by its absence is the long awaited recognition of, and thanks to, Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life, an event which has been incredibly successful and raised hundreds of millions over the last quarter of a century.

Cherry picking those you thank and those you give recognition to undermines the sincerity of your message. By being selective, it gives the impression that it is hollow words driven by PR, and not a genuine appreciation of support given.

Meanwhile, worse than neither recognising nor thanking Jim, Cancer Research UK are instead trying to whitewash his name from the event’s history. After lying about the its origins for 25 years before being exposed, after supporting the fraudulent claims of their former employee Jill MacRae (who falsely claimed to be the event’s originator to bolster her CV), rather than set the record straight they choose to pretend the lies never happened, not correct them, and pursue a policy of not giving anyone credit for creating the event.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling when you consider both Cancer Research UK’s Chair, Leszek Borysiewicz, and its CEO, Michelle Mitchell, have both been happy to accept recognition and thanks for themselves, not least a knighthood for Borysiewicz and an OBE for Mitchell.

Volunteers Week presents an opportunity for Cancer Research UK to set the record straight. Instead, they continue to show little integrity, poor ethics, low morals and act hypocritically. Calling their selective thank yous double standards, would be a huge understatement.

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


On 31st May last year we called out the Race for Life after they tweeted deliberately misleading information.

They tweeted, as they continue to do so almost daily, that simply entering the Race for Life supports research into cancer. We challenged them on this knowing that not a single penny of the entry fees supports research, something they don’t even admit in the small print on the event website.

It is deliberately misleading at best, an outright lie at worst. And, given they have at least 25 years of form for lying, we know which we believe it is.

Following our challenge, via Twitter, they replied acknowledging that the entry fee does not support cancer but covers the cost of staging the event. 

They went on to state; “This enables all the sponsorship money, raised by our amazing supporters, to go directly to Cancer Research UK’s ground-breaking and life saving research.”

But does it? We challenged them to confirm that ALL of the sponsorship raised goes directly to research (as their tweet claimed). Going to Cancer Research UK does not mean funding research. It can mean funding the CEO’s £1/4 million per annum salary, or the 219+ employees earning over £60,000p.a., or the expensive central London and regional offices, or the glossy TV ads, or, or, or….. it all comes out of funds raised by an unsuspecting and (deliberately) misled public.

Their reply? There hasn’t been one. One year later and despite several prompts from us, Cancer Research UK have failed to confirm or comment on something we know not to be true.

And, as with all messages from this integrity lacking charity, read that tweet carefully. It refers to sponsorship raised by followers, very deliberately excluding corporate sponsorship. No, we can’t trace where that ends up either.

Rather than admit a second time to misleading the public, the Race for Life has opted for silence, for ducking the issue. For not admitting to a lie.

The absence of any confirmation does not surprise us though. Cancer Research UK have form for not saying things, phrasing things cleverly, and using false stories, in order to create a misleading impression of their events and where money raised through those events goes.

It is a fact that they have spent a quarter of a century spinning a range of different yarns as to who  actually created the Race for Life and, in doing so, denying any recognition to the person who actually did.

Having been called out on these tales, rather than accept they got it wrong, they now take an official line of “not recognising anyone.” And why tell the truth when simply missing it out, covers up the lies and fits your agenda better?

For example, why tell people that none of their Race for Life entry fee funds research into cancer? Far better not to mention it at all and leave people with the impression it does through statements such as, “this is beating cancer.” How the entry fee “is beating cancer’ is anyone’s guess when none of it goes to any research. But let’s not tell anyone.

And then, rather than the (deliberate?) omissions, look out also for the cleverly phrased statements, such as the one we sought clarification on. Contradicting the tweet we quote above, the Race for Life website states that sponsorship raised goes to Cancer Research UK (not to research) raising questions as to what percentage actually finds its way to funding any research? 

But don’t ask, they won’t reply. They never admit to their lies, even when caught out. Indeed, on the entry fee lie, they continue to spin it out on a regular basis. Cancer Research UK ; less an integrity gap, more an integrity free zone.

What percentage of the sponsorship, raised and donated in good faith, actually funds research? 

In the absence of any reply, and in the face of the same deliberate lies/misleading statements still being repeated, study Cancer Research UK’s form and draw your own conclusions.

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


For 25 years, Cancer Research UK have lied about Jim Cowan and the creation of the Race for Life. Their lies have cost him the recognition and thanks he so thoroughly deserves and have even cost him a job offer. 

Sadly, even though they know the facts, rather than correct 25 years of lies, they have chosen to simply pretend the lies never happened and have assumed a stance which continues to exclude Jim from his rightful place in the event’s history.

The problem with falsehoods, with lies, is that eventually you forget what you claimed and claim something else entirely, catching yourself out. And, of course, you have no evidence to support your fiction because it is just that, fiction. No records of discussions, of meetings, of correspondence. Because they don’t exist.

Indeed, in recent correspondence, Cancer Research UK acknowledged that they have kept no records from the creation and launch of the landmark fundraising event. But, ever keeping their heads in the sand when confronted by facts, they declined Jim Cowan’s offer to meet with them and share copies of documents from 1993 and 1994 which clearly evidence the idea was his and his alone.

But how many lies have been told in that quarter of a century? We have no way of knowing! So, interested in checking out Cancer Research UK’s false claims, Race 4 Truth carried out a little research which has exposed a story which, as such fictions do, keeps changing. There may be more and different claims, but in less than one day’s digging, this is what we uncovered:


In a letter from Jill MacRae, its then National Events Manager, what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) credited Jim Cowan with coming to them with the original idea for the Race for Life. This was the last time they were honest about who created the event.


After severing all ties to Jim Cowan, Jill MacRae started to claim she came up with the Race for Life herself. It would appear that ICRF/CRUK believed her. She went on to build a career on the false, probably fraudulent, claim and is currently the Business Development Manager at Barnardo’s.


In an article in the 19th July issue of Athletics Weekly, an ICRF spokesperson claimed that the Race for Life was based on, “a concept from America called Walk for a Cure.” In the same issue of Athletics Weekly, a letter from Louise Holland, ICRF’s Race for Life Director, stated, “the concept was taken from the Susan Komen Foundation.” They couldn’t even keep their lies consistent for a week


In November of 2013, Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via Linked In and email threatening legal action if he did not stop claiming to have created the Race for Life. Supported by Jane Arnell, Tony Elischer, and Sarah Guthrie (former colleagues of hers at ICRF/CRUK), she claimed they were all “shocked” by Jim’s “misleading claims.” MacRae claimed to have never heard of Jim Cowan and asserted that her colleagues had not either. The 1994 letter from Jill MacRae to Jim Cowan puts the lie to that lie. Over the past year, we have shared more evidence that includes correspondence to and from Jill Macrae to support Jim’s position and which debunks MacRae’s lies.

Also in November of 2013, Jill MacRae amended the Race for Life entry on Wikipedia to state; “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial CancerResearch Fund.” At Jim’s request, supported by evidence, Wikipedia amended the page to show the truth, that the creator of the Race for Life was him.

On 12th December, Jim Cowan responded to Jill MacRae’s threats stating; “To say that I am surprised at both your claims and you accusation would be an understatement. Your cynical duplicity in laying claim to the original idea is preposterous and your accusation that my own claims are untrue is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

Jim has not heard from MacRae, or her colleagues, since. Why not, we wonder? Interestingly, MacRae has since removed the false claim from all of her online profiles. We wonder whether she still uses the lie on her CV? That, of course, would be fraud.


Jim Cowan was advised that the website ‘Informed Edinburgh’ had carried an article titled ‘Spotlight on Jill MacRae’ in which she stated; “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first 5K event way back in 1993 (sic), when I was National Events Manager at what is now Cancer Research UK. The article was removed after Jim contacted the website advising them that, “Ms MacRae knows this not to be the case” providing evidence debunking her lie.


In May 2017 , Nicki Ford from Cancer Research UK stated, “We do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event.”

In September 2017, Cancer Research UK’s Chairman, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, stated, “We do not credit anyone with originating the event.”

It would appear that, unable to prove any of the previous claims Cancer Research UK and, primarily, Jill MacRae had made about the creation of the event (how could they?), the policy was now to simply shut up and claim nothing.


Maybe she didn’t get the memo shared by Ford and Borysiewicz, or maybe it was just time to change the claim again, but in May 2018, Cancer Research UK’s current National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, stated that the original pilot was from yet another different source, this time the American Cancer Society.


We had hoped that Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, might take the opportunity to put the record straight and restore some of the charity’s missing integrity. Unfortunately not. Despite Jim’s offer to meet her and provide her with documentary evidence, she ducked responding herself, delegating the task to her Complaints Manager, Graeme McCluskey. He used the excuse that the organisation do not have any internal records of Jim’s involvement with the Race for Life. In place of taking the opportunity to view and discuss evidence, Cancer Research UK have kept their collective heads buried deep in the sand. An opportunity to correct 25 years of lies was passed up; no corrections, no apologies, just very deliberate ignorance of the facts displaying a complete absence of integrity

We now wait with baited breath for the next claim as to the creation of the Race for Life. There are two things we know for sure though:

  1. While CRUK’s story has kept changing, Jim Cowan’s has remained consistent throughout.
  2. While CRUK and their various employees (current and former) have offered no supporting evidence for any of their claims, Jim Cowan has. Race 4 Truth will continue sharing that evidence over the coming weeks, months, and years.

Here is another fact for Cancer Research UK; the truth is consistent, it has no need to vary its story in the way that Cancer Research UK’s fiction has. Jim’s truth can be proven. Their lies cannot. 

Ask yourself, who do you believe? Jim Cowan or Cancer Research UK?

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


The officially backed ‘Inside Government’ organisation are to host an event in July to examine how charities can start regaining public trust.

It appears that it is not only Cancer Research UK that the public are losing trust in, the need for the event suggesting sector wide issues.

The event, ‘Raising Levels of Trust Across the Voluntary Sector’ was tweeted by Inside Government and retweeted by (among others) the Fundraising Regulator Gerald Oppenheim, suggesting he too is aware of issues within the sector he regulates.

Unfortunately, every single speaker at the event is an ‘insider’ being from either a charity or an official body. Further, the event seems priced to deter those with an interest or a view to share from attending; the cheapest fee for booking a place being £325 (yes, you read that right).

Concerned that the event might miss valuable insights and information from someone affected by the decline in integrity and morals in the sector, someone who has been lied about and seen those leading a charity display mind-boggling levels of hypocrisy, we shared the details with Race for Life creator Jim Cowan.

Jim informs us that he got in touch with the organisers through their online enquiry form and offered to speak of his experiences at the event free of charge. The response? Silence. Jim’s offer was not considered worthy of acknowledgement, let alone a response.

Might we suggest that if levels of trust across the sector are to be improved, ignoring genuine offers to provide input and support is not a great way to start? Further, by excluding the very external knowledge the event agenda is lacking, the event appears to be little more than lip service to a problem which is only going to get worse if not addressed properly.

On the positive side; at least staging the event means that the issue is being recognised.

Find out more details about the event on the Inside Government website here: www.insidegovernment.co.uk/raising-levels-of-trust-across-the-voluntary-sector/


On 18th April we shared details of our letter to Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, regarding that charity’s disgraceful and continued refusal to recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life.

On 23rd April, we shared Mitchell’s non-reply which stated their hypocritical most recent position that they do not recognise anyone with originating any of their events. Other than that statement, her reply ducked all the points raised, stating that as they related to Mr Cowan she would be unable to enter into communication.

We shared our original letter and Mitchell’s reply with Jim and he decided to write his own letter to the CEO of CRUK in the hope that, as her reply had suggested, she might be willing to enter into communication with him.

With Jim’s consent, we share his letter here. We feel it speaks for itself. We will share and analyse Mitchell’s response in the coming days.

More to follow…




Following our letter to Cancer Research UK’s new CEO, Michelle Mitchell, initially we received a reply (dated 18th January) from her Executive Assistant Theresa Lawler which stated:

“As I am sure you are aware, Michelle is our newly appointed Chief Executive, and as such our office has been receiving a large amount of correspondence of late so it is taking slightly longer to reply to each individual letter.

We will respond to your letter once Michelle has had the opportunity to review background information.”

Mitchell’s reply (dated 30th January), for what it was worth, said little but told us a lot.

Firstly there was the repetition of the line which has become Cancer Research UK’s standard response when asked about recognising Jim Cowan as the creator of the Race for Life; “we do not credit anyone with originating any of our events.”

It would appear that the new CEO is to continue the hypocrisy of the old CEO. She is someone who happily accepted an OBE in recognition of her own work and achievements but refuses to recognise Jim Cowan’s work and achievement in creating such a significant event.

And, after a quarter of a century of lies about the event’s origins, it appears neither the charity nor its new CEO have the integrity required to put the record straight.

Mitchell goes on to duck all of the points raised in our letter by stating; “As your letter directly concerns Mr Cowan, you will understand that I am unable to enter into any communication regarding a third party and as such, I am unable to comment further on the specific issues you have raised.”

So, despite her assistant informing us that prior to replying Mitchell would be reviewing the background information, she has found none of that information worthy of comment.

The lies and possible fraud of CRUK staff? Not worthy of comment. Not worthy of investigation. No further details sought. We have to question the integrity of any organisation, let alone a charity, seemingly so willing to brush this kind of thing under the carpet.

We shared Mitchell’s response with Jim Cowan. He wasn’t surprised. Hypocrisy, dishonesty and poor integrity seem embedded in the culture of CRUK, why should he be surprised? But, given she won’t discuss the issues raised with us because they relate to him, he did decide to write a letter of his own to Mitchell. 

More of which in our next article.



Here at the Race 4 Truth we have deliberately posted very few new articles over recent months. Why? Because we have been corresponding with Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, in the hope that new leadership might see a desire to improve integrity and end the hypocrisy of her predecessor and of the current Chairman.

Having failed to get a satisfactory response, we passed the correspondence on to Jim Cowan who wrote his own letter to Mitchell. Rather than reply herself, she passed Jim’s letter to CRUK’s Complaints Manager, Graeme McCluskey, who eventually replied informing Jim that nothing would be changing.

We will be sharing these letters over the next couple of weeks and we will be analysing exactly what the contents of those letters tells us about the integrity of CRUK and its new leadership, along with the continued hypocrisy.

It is reasonable to suggest that hypocrisy continues to reign supreme as Mitchell, who was happy to accept an OBE in recognition of her own work and achievements, does not see fit to recognise the work and achievement of Jim Cowan in creating the Race for Life.

More to follow in the coming days.

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


Without, it would appear, any sense of the hypocrisy in the announcement, Cancer Research UK’s new CEO (Michelle Mitchell) announced on Twitter (24th January) that it was “amazing to meet Grand Challenge winners…”

Ms Mitchell, being new to the organisation, maybe unaware of the institutionalised hypocrisy within and we hope that once she does become aware, she will act to address it.

But, yet again, Cancer Research UK publicly either recognise their own or accept recognition without giving similar (any) recognition to Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life and who they have attempted to airbrush from history over the past quarter of a century.

Shame on them.

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


Since launching the Race 4 Truth in May 2018, we have uncovered and shared a whole host of instances exposing Cancer Research UK’s dishonesty, hypocrisy, support for fraud, poor ethics and low integrity, misleading of supporters, and more, much more. All of this in addition to their continued refusal to recognise the man who created the Race for Life.

The response from Cancer Research UK? A deafening silence. And that silence speaks volumes.

Some might suggest that silence is golden but in this instance, we would suggest it is far from that, instead incriminating Cancer Research UK by their failure to offer any explanation of their actions or any defence to the many issues we have raised.

They are one of the UK’s largest charities with their own large in-house legal department. Yet they have offered neither explanation nor defence to any of the many issues we have uncovered. No defence to the dishonesty (both blatant lies and lies by omission), the hypocrisy, the fraud, and more. Surely an innocent party would react, would respond?

But no, they haven’t.

But then, when you are not innocent, what can you say? What possible evidence can you offer? Maybe Cancer Research UK think silence is the best option? Maybe they think eventually we will give up and go away?

We won’t. Not until Cancer Research UK do the right thing and recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life instead of lying about it, making up fiction about it, hypocritically accepting recognition for themselves, and supporting fraudulent claims about it.

The continued silence from Cancer Research UK speaks volumes and serves only to incriminate them.

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


The Race for Life are offering anyone who completed the event in 2018 the opportunity to create their very own ‘back sign’.

They say it is as a “thank you” to everyone who took part. However, where people should wear it once they have attached it to their back they don’t suggest.

To the supermarket? To sporting events? Doing the gardening? To dinner? We don’t know.

We find it a little bizarre. But not nearly as bizarre as the fact they continue to deny any recognition to the man who actually created the Race for Life, a man they unethically and hypocritically continue to ignore while making up a range of tales about the Race for Life’s origins, none of which are true.

You can read the true story here.

In the meantime, we used their ‘back sign’ to create a little reminder for them. Feel free to share it, only not on your back (unless you really want to). We feel on your social media and on their social media might be more appropriate and a little less bizarre.

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