Tag Archives: Jill MacRae

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.

WHY DON”T CANCER RESEARCH UK SUE RACE 4 TRUTH?

It is a question we have been asked several times since launching the Race 4 Truth; “why don’t Cancer Research UK sue you?

The answer, as CRUK are no doubt very aware, is a simple one.

You can’t sue someone for telling the truth. You can’t sue someone for reporting facts.

No, Cancer Research UK choose instead to stay silent. What else can they do without further incriminating themselves? Without exposing more hypocrisy? Without making up more stories about the Race for Life’s history?

Well, there is one thing they could do. Finally tell the truth. But we’re not holding our breath waiting for that to happen.

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

IS CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO MICHELLE MITCHELL THE UK CHARITY SECTOR’S BIGGEST HYPOCRITE?

One of the themes which keeps recurring when looking at the behaviours of those who lead Cancer Research UK is that of hypocrisy. At times that hypocrisy is so subtle it could be overlooked by those not aware of the facts of the charity’s treatment of Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life. And we can only wonder at what further hypocrisy they may be displaying in other areas we have less information about.

When the current Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, assumed her role a little over a year ago she was taking the reigns of an organisation where hypocrisy was already embedded as standard and acceptable behaviour by those at the top. We were hopeful that a new broom might bring more integrity and address the issue. Far from it. In fact, Mitchell has taken CRUK’s hypocrisy to new levels, and always delivered with a straight face and with no thought for the impact it has on others.

In 2018 we shared articles addressing CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy. We wondered at their then CEO, Sir Harpal Kumar, and his hypocrisy in steadfastly refusing to recognise (or even acknowledge) Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life while happily accepting recognition for his own work and achievements. Textbook hypocrisy.

We looked at the issue of hypocrisy across the charity and asked whether CRUK is the home of charity sector hypocrisy? And we looked at the charity’s Chairman, and its committees and Board of Trustees and exposed yet more examples of glaring hypocrisy.

So when CRUK announced that Michelle Mitchell would be succeeding Kumar we took the announcement with some optimism that a new leader might prove to be the turning point. That the charity might rediscover integrity and honesty and cease its hypocrisy.

It didn’t take long to discover that optimism was misplaced. Whether Mitchell brought her own hypocrisy with her or whether she just got consumed by CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy we don’t know. We do know that she has taken that hypocrisy to new levels.

On 20th January this year Mitchell tweeted, “A very important reminder today, and every day. Mental health matters, and mental health problems can be devastating. It’s something I’ve seen up close too many times, and proper support is vital.”

On the surface a positive tweet supporting an important issue. Except, and Mitchell is aware of this, her actions expose her comments as nothing more than PR, as spin. And as hypocrisy. 

It is hypocrisy. And it is hypocrisy she is aware of and therefore seemingly cares not a joy about. We know she is aware of it because in October last year when marking World Mental Health Day she also spoke about the importance of addressing mental health issues. We reminded her that neither her nor her organisation cared one jot about Jim Cowan’s mental health when spending 25 years lying about him, when covering up the fraud of their own employee who we have evidenced stole the idea for the Race for Life from Jim. When saying CRUK had never heard of Jim when a prospective employer was checking his CV, thus costing him a job offer. The list goes on. The stress, the pressure, the strain placed on Jim has been enormous. Mitchell’s response? Silence.

Does Mitchell or her organisation care about the possible toll on Jim’s mental health? No. Not a jot. To them mental health is a topic they are selective over, a topic with more value as a PR message than one requiring actions to back up their hollow words.

But hypocrisy demonstrated by her statements on mental health, while inexcusable, probably wouldn’t make Mitchell the charity sector’s biggest hypocrite. No, to award her with that title she would have to have displayed consistent hypocrisy across a range of topics, ably supported by statements from the the organisation she heads.

And, in the short time she has been in post as CEO at Cancer Research UK, we have already highlighted numerous examples of this hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy which comes from the top. It is hypocrisy deeply embedded with the charity’s culture.

27th January 2019: We reported on Mitchell’s tweet where she described as “amazing” meeting Grand Challenge winners. The hypocrisy of recognising some while refusing to recognise others was apparently lost on her.

4th February 2019: Mitchell tweeted about ‘volunteering’ at a Cancer Research UK event. No sign of any realisation that calling it volunteering when she is paid £240,000 p.a. to work for the organisation smacks of just a little hypocrisy.

15th April 2019: We reported how, following correspondence with Mitchell it had become abundantly clear that, while she was/is happy to receive recognition for her own work and achievements (including accepting an OBE), she was going to continue with Cancer Research UK’s policy of refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. An example of text book hypocrisy.

4th May 2019: We shared an analysis of correspondence between Jim Cowan and Michelle Mitchell which highlighted the ongoing hypocrisy of both the CEO and the organisation in refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for his amazing creation. The analysis also highlighted how Mitchell’s (delegated) response has failed to address a single issue raised in Jim’s correspondence. Given the importance Mitchell claims to place on collaboration (see 23rd October 2019 below) we can only wonder at her continued desire not to recognise the importance to her organisation of Jim choosing to collaborate with her charity when he created the Race for Life? It is clearly hypocritical and surely any sensible person or organisation would think twice before collaborating with CRUK in future, especially given their willingness to cover up the fraud of their employee who stole the idea from Jim. Textbook hypocrisy but definitely not textbook collaboration.

19th May 2019: We took a look at examples which demonstrate how deeply embedded hypocrisy is in the culture at Cancer Research UK, including examples of hypocrisy from those at the very top.

5th June 2019: To mark Volunteers Week, Cancer Research UK were again busy on social media, busy thanking and recognising their volunteers. This is as it should be but we questioned the sincerity of those thanks given that no such words of thanks, or even recognition has ever been extended to Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. Hypocritically given thank-yous are not thank-yous at all, merely hollow words.

11th June 2019: We gave Mitchell a new title as Cancer Research UK’s ‘Hypocrite in Chief’ when reporting how, yet again, she was gushing on Twitter about CRUK employees receiving recognition for their achievements in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Again, the hypocrisy of doing so while refusing any recognition to Jim Cowan for his incredible creation seemed to pass her by.

13th June 2019: Again the social media world was awash with posts and tweets from CRUK. This time they were asking people to nominate their Race for Life Hero (or Heroes). With a straight face they asked for nominations in the full knowledge that without Jim Cowan there would be no Race for Life and therefore no Race for Life Heroes. Our supporters rallied around and nominated Jim as their Hero. Sadly theirs were the only posts and tweets responding to the request which received no reply. Mitchell’s organisation once again providing an outstanding example of hypocrisy.

7th August 2019: We questioned the hypocrisy of Cancer Research UK selling pitches to caterers who were selling bacon rolls and other bacon products at 2019 Race for Life venues. Why? This is the same Cancer Research UK, the one led by Mitchell, which warns people that bacon is carcinogenic (cancer causing). We wondered whether they saw the hypocrisy in effectively saying, “Bacon is carcinogenic. It causes cancer. Here, have a bacon roll while we pop to the bank!”

15th August 2019: In an interview in Third Sector magazine, Ed Aspell, CRUK’s Director of Fundraising announced plans to retire at the end of the year. In the interview Aspel revealed that he would love to have come up with “that one, radical, transformational change that is different from the traditional model…” Had he done so, it is very reasonable to assume the charity would have lauded his achievement and praised him with recognition. The very opposite of what they have done with Jim Cowan who came up with just such a game changer when creating the Race for Life in 1993.

17th September 2019: Having tweeted about talking to Cancer Research UK supporters about the charity’s history, we replied to her asking how accurate that history is? After all, we know that her organisation has spent over a quarter of a century trying to rewrite the history of the Race for Life and attempting to erase its creator from its history. What we don’t know is what else the charity claims as its ‘history’ is also made up to fit whatever tale they would rather spin. How anyone could be expected to trust any organisation, let alone a charity, which acts in this way, we are at a loss to explain. The ensuing silence from Mitchell suggests she is too.

23rd October 2019: Addressing the NPC Ignites conference, Mitchell talked at length about the importance of collaboration to the charity sector. We can only wonder at her sincerity given her organisation’s history of stealing ideas from those seeking to collaborate with them. The Race for Life comes to mind. Maybe not sincerity, more hypocrisy. We raised the issue with her but, as per usual, the silence in response was deafening. And it wasn’t a one off oversight on her part. Mitchell has continued voicing her hypocritical line on collaboration since, for example in Civil Society magazine on 26th November.

4th November 2019: After a supporter got in touch to tell us about Mitchell’s hypocritical tweet on 10th October marking World Mental Health Day, we reported the facts, highlighted the hypocrisy, and via Twitter (seemingly her favourite platform for communication) asked Mitchell if she cared to reply? Other than as a tool for PR and spin, mental health is not as important a subject to Mitchell and her organisation as they would like us to believe. Or is it just Jim Cowan’s mental health she cares nothing about? Whichever it is, her hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see.

8th January 2020: Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s Media Relations Officer in Scotland, tweeted that she was “so proud to be a part of this” when retweeting a Race for Life tweet. Given her profile states ‘media with honesty’ we challenged her on whether she would be “applying some of that honesty and recognising the man who created the Race for Life? Or did she be support CRUK’s lies for the last 25 years, covering up of fraud, etc. Honesty: words or deeds?” Her response was to hide our tweet. Media with honesty? Or gross hypocrisy? You decide.

12th January 2020: In a repeat of their hypocrisy of 13th June 2019 (see above), the charity headed by Mitchell again asked for nominations for Race for Life Heroes. Race 4 Truth supporters again rallied round and nominated Jim Cowan. Again, they were the only nominations, to date, to be ignored.

20th January 2020: As reported above, Mitchell again used the issue of mental health for PR and spin purposes. At least we assume it to be PR and spin because, surely, if she really took the issue seriously she would give far greater consideration to Jim Cowan’s mental health given her charity’s shocking treatment of him.

It is quite a year (and a bit) Mitchell has had in her new role. It is far from easy to reach, let alone sustain, such levels of hypocrisy. That hypocrisy has, under her leadership, reached new levels and remained deeply embedded in the culture at Cancer Research UK. 

For 26 years this unethical, immoral, hypocritical organisation (and its leadership) have waged a campaign of lies about the origins of the Race for Life, inconsistent lies at that. They have attempted to erase the event’s creator from its history. They have covered up the fraud of Jill MacRae, the employee who originally stole the idea from Jim Cowan.

For the record, that Jim created the Race for Life can be evidenced and witnesses are willing to come forward. That Jill MacRae stole the event can also be evidenced. Sadly, the truth, the facts, do not fit the story Mitchell and Cancer Research UK want to tell the world. They have been offered the opportunity to view evidence, to see correspondence from 1993 and 1994 which prove the event’s origins. They have ignored these offers while acknowledging they have no records of their own

We find it hard to believe there can be a more hypocritical CEO in the charity sector, or a charity where hypocrisy is more deeply embedded than at Cancer Research UK. And we can only wonder at the breadth and depth of that hypocrisy given what we have discovered is likely to only scratch the surface given the size of the organisation.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘Hypocrisy’ thus: 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: e.g “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.” 

Created by Jim Cowan, the Race for Life, is well on its way to raising its first £1 Billion. An astonishing amount. 

If that isn’t worthy of recognition, we struggle to figure out what is. And it is in the accepting of recognition for themselves while denying it to others that the hypocrisy of Michelle Mitchell and Cancer Research UK really stands out.

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!

CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO ONCE AGAIN DISPLAYS HYPOCRISY WITH ‘COLLABORATION’ COMMENT

October 10th saw an important conference for the charity sector take place when NPC, the think tank and consultancy for the sector, hosted its NPC Ignites Conference on 10th October.

Many charities gain valuable information and ideas from the conference and the value of one of the topics discussed, collaboration, should not be understated.

One of the topics for discussion was the uncertainty faced by the sector during the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. And, with a straight face, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell suggested that, for her, collaboration is key.

A good idea but here at Race 4 Truth we must question Mitchell’s own belief in what she espouses? We question how she could make such a statement with a straight face?

After all, this is the woman who runs the charity that Jim Cowan took the original idea of the Race for Life to in 1993; seeking to collaborate with them on building it into a significant fundraising event.

It is the charity which then stole that idea, ditched Jim, and then spent 25 years falsely citing a range of different sources for the event. Yes, the same charity which, when the lies were exposed, instead of correcting them and recognising (let alone thanking) Jim took a stance of, “we don’t recognise anyone.” That same charity which regularly recognises and thanks others. The one which happily accepts thanks and recognition from others. Indeed, Mitchell was happy to accept an OBE in recognition for her own work. And let’s not forget, Mitchell leads the same charity which has turned a blind eye to the fraud of their own employee who they now know stole the idea. Collaboration? 

The charity has a long record of hypocrisy and Mitchell’s belief that “collaboration is key” holds little or no water when examined.

Why would anyone consider seeking to collaborate with CRUK when that organisation’s own history clearly displays they do not collaborate on ideas from outside sources, they steal them and then claim then as their own.

And, should anyone having a similar big, creative, fundraising idea to Jim’s be seeking collaboration with a charity, why would they trust CRUK not to take their idea too?

The danger to the rest of the charity sector, one worthy of consideration by all those sector leaders attending NPC Ignites, is that Mitchell and CRUK’s actions and ensuing deceit and hypocrisy risk undermining ideas people like Jim’s trust in the entire sector.

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

IN CRUK’s OWN WORDS – JIM COWAN CREATED THE RACE FOR LIFE

Cancer Research UK might continue to deny Jim Cowan had anything to do with the Race for Life but, in doing so, they ignore correspondence which clearly shows that he came to them with the ‘original idea’ (their words).

One such example is the letter below from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund’s (Cancer Research UK’s then name) National Events Manager Jill MacRae in which she states; “Mr Cowan came to us with the original idea..…”

Interestingly, as we have evidenced in a recent article, Jill MacRae is one of the people who has fraudulently since claimed to have created the event herself, it appears with the full endorsement of Cancer Research UK, just one of many ‘stories’ used by that organisation to deny Jim the recognition he so rightly deserves.

It is time for Cancer Research UK to stop lying and to put right the wrongs done to Jim and give him the credit he deserves.

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

A CAREER BUILT ON A BAREFACED LIE

In 1993 when serial fundraiser Jim Cowan’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he came up with the idea for the Race for Life and he took the idea to Cancer Research UK (then called Imperial Cancer Research Fund – ICRF) and their Head of Events, Jill MacRae (nee Baker).

The proposal was simple; Jim would organise the event at a growing number of venues every year beginning with a central London run in the summer of 1994. 

What followed saw Jim written from the event’s history by MacRae, her successors at Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and by the charity itself; while MacRae built a career in the sector on the back of falsely claiming the idea as her own.

Jim did organise the 1994 Race for Life, staged in Battersea Park, and then began work on expanding to six venues in 1995 and twelve in 1996. However, before he could proceed he received a phone call from MacRae informing him that his services were no longer required. 

Jim sought legal advice to be told that an idea could not be copyrighted and that therefore there was nothing he could do. Frustrated and angry but seeing no alternative, Jim turned his mind to other ideas and projects; ideas and projects that have raised many millions for a range of other charities.

The Race for Life went from strength to strength growing into the event Jim forecast his idea would become. Unfortunately, his name was whitewashed from its history with CRUK choosing to tell a range of different, false stories about the event’s origins.

Meanwhile, MacRae had started claiming that she was the creator of the Race for Life. On the back of that barefaced lie, she went on to build a successful career in the charity sector.

But then something happened, something that could not have been predicted in 1994. Social media arrived and exploded. Suddenly, MacRae’s friends were asking her who Jim Cowan was? Why was he appearing on Linked In, Facebook, and elsewhere claiming to have created the Race for Life when MacRae had (or, they thought she had)?

Boxed into a corner MacRae gambled that, over twenty years later, Jim would have none of the original paperwork. She wrote to Jim brazenly accusing him of falsely claiming what she described as her idea, insisting he stop doing so. She claimed she did not even know who Jim was, that she had never heard of him. She copied in former colleagues from CRUK, effectively making her accusations libellous by sharing them in print. She also edited the Wikipedia page for the Race for Life, amending it to give her and former colleague Jane Arnell as the originators of the event.

Jim responded in robust fashion, reminding MacRae that she had actually written to him acknowledging the event was his creation, stating how excited she was at the prospect of meeting and working with him. He added, “It also appears that at some stage you made a conscious decision to claim the idea as your own, whether by misleading your colleagues at the ICRF or with their collusion is unclear.” He then made it clear that Macrae, “should be advised that should you continue to make false accusations against or about me and which may lead to personal and/or professional damage I will defend myself and my reputation vigorously.

Jim also contacted Wikipedia, providing evidence as to his truth (and therefore MacRae’s lie) and they promptly corrected the page to reflect facts.

Jim has not heard from MacRae (or her colleagues) since and, following Jim’s robust response any claims to her being the creator of the Race for Life disappeared from her social media profiles. Unfortunately for her, it is the nature of the internet that a lie once told cannot be taken back and stories continue to emerge of her making her false claim.

However, the damage was done. Cancer Research UK continue to refuse to recognise, let alone thank, Jim for his incredible creation. Their current position is that they credit no one, a somewhat ridiculous position given that for the previous 25 years they have credited a range of different (incorrect) origins for the event. Given they have admitted that they have no records from the event’s beginnings, suspicious in itself, how they could make these various claims is anyone’s guess.

It is also worth noting the hypocrisy of an organisation always happy to accept recognition from others but who refuse to give the recognition due to Jim.

And what of MacRae? 

Her lie certainly enhanced her CV and has not held her back in her career since. After leaving CRUK in 1996, according to her Linked In profile she has worked in a range of high profile roles:
British Lung Foundation (Fundraising Manager)
National Autistic Society (Fundraising Manager)
PZA Consulting (Associate Consultant)
Blether Media (Director)
AmbITion Scotland (Specialist Advisor)
Scottish Women In Business (Committee Member)
Visibility (Fundraising & Business Development Manager)
Barnardo’s (Business Development Manager and, currently, as Acting Assistant Director Business Development)

And, while MacRae’s suspect CV has done her no harm (if she has lied about the Race for Life, could she have other fictional episodes recorded?), Jim’s honest CV has been brought into question when Cancer Research UK told a prospective employer fact checking his CV that they had “never heard of him.”

It is a tale of a man whitewashed from the history of the hugely successful event he created and who has then subsequently been lied about and ignored; and a tale of a woman who stole that idea and who has built a successful career on the back of that barefaced lie.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK (and Jill MacRae) are lagging behind.

FURTHER READING:
How The Race For Life Came About
Cancer Research UK Refusing To Correct Twenty Five Years Of Lying About Race For Life
Were False Claims About Who Created The Race For Life Fraud?
Race For Life on Wikipedia
More Evidence Emerges Of The Potentially Fraudulent Claim As To Who Created Race For Life
Hypocrisy Is Deeply Embedded Within The Culture Of Cancer Research UK
New Cancer Research UK CEO Will Continue The Hypocrisy Of Her Predecessor
Jill MacRae’s Linked In Profile
How Cancer Research UK Lie Cost Race For Life Creator A Job Offer

CANCER RESEARCH UK AND THE MISSING VALUES

Pretty much every organisation across every sector that is worth its salt will have a publicly stated set of values. The importance of ‘Values’ is so high that it has become standard practice that, in well run organisations, they are stated in the Mission Statement alongside the Vision and the Mission.

You know the kind of thing; we will act with integrity, we are customer focused, we source our products ethically, and so on.

Given the many issues with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and Race for Life that Race 4 Truth has highlighted over the last year, we thought it would be interesting to seek out CRUK’s Values and compare them to reality.

We thought it would be as simple as visiting their website and looking their Values up. It wasn’t. Instead, after a couple of hours searching their site, we were left having to assume that they don’t have any values to share.

But then, they must do. Their website clearly states of its Council of Trustees; “Council’s role is to set the Charity’s strategic direction, monitor the delivery of the Charity’s objects, uphold its values and governance and guide, advise and support the Chief Executive, who leads the Senior Management Team towards achieving the Charity’s vision and purpose.”

So, we searched again. And, buried on page 39 of CRUK’s Annual Report, we found a list of “promises” to the organisation’s supporters. The first of these states; “To be transparent about where your money goes.” That sounded a lot like a Value to us so we searched the website for more information and finally found CRUK’s ‘Fundraising Promise.’

Here, they expand on the line in their Annual Report by stating that they promise “To be transparent about where your money goes.” They go on to say: “For every £1 donated, over 80p is used to beat cancer.”

Except, it isn’t. Their ‘transparency’ doesn’t stretch to telling their supporters that, according to CRUK’s own annual report, nothing from the following goes to funding research, and nothing from the following list is included when calculating that 80p:
-Income from event entries and tickets (eg Race for Life)
-Income from event merchandising
-Income from commercial sponsorship of events
-Income from high street ‘charity’ shops

Transparent? More like a broken promise.

The ‘Fundraising Promise’ goes on to state; “We are proud to champion the principles of honesty, accountability and transparency when fundraising.” Perhaps they should add; “as long as we don’t have to tell you that by entering the Race for Life you have given not a single penny to research.” Indeed, when advertising entries for the Race for Life they even use the (misleading) tag line ‘this is beating cancer.’ 

Honesty? They have lied about the origins of the Race for Life for 25 years and, once provided with evidence, refused to put the lies right by telling truth. They even supported a fraudulent claim by then employee Jill MacRae that she had created the event. They now know she didn’t but have failed to right that wrong.

Accountability? To whom exactly. Handily, they don’t say.

Transparency? Well, when directly asked how much of the sponsorship money raised by Race for Life participants funds research they were (again) very careful with their wording (ie not transparent). “100% of it goes to Cancer Research UK.”

Note, to “Cancer Research UK”, not to cancer research. Far from funding research, a chunk of that money funds sky high salaries, expensive offices, glossy TV commercials, and more.

Transparent?

And their CEO Michelle Mitchell cannot claim to be unaware of the importance of clear values. Under her leadership in her previous role as CEO at the Multiple Sclerosis Society, a clear set of values was put in place. But then, Mitchell is already rewriting the book in her new role, especially when it comes to hypocrisy. And what of the CRUK Council of Trustees responsible for “upholding its values?” Are none of them asking questions?

We were searching for Values, a set of standards to which Cancer Research UK hold themselves responsible. In their place we found empty promises already broken.

They have lied about the Race for Life for 25 years, they deliberately mislead their supporters while claiming transparency, they claim accountability without saying to whom. Why should we believe a single word they say? Cancer Research UK, an integrity free zone, would like you to trust them with your hard earned money. Just don’t ask them where it goes.

If it matters to you, why not ask Michelle Mitchell directly. Her Twitter handle is @Michelle_CRUK – we are sure she would love to hear from you and to explain CRUK’s values and (broken) promises.

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