Tag Archives: Race for Life

CANCER RESEARCH UK SHOULD MAKE INQUIRY PUBLIC IF THEY HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE

On 23rd December last year, we told you about Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) astonishing new claim that they had held an inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life and, having “explored all reasonable lines of enquiry” they had been “unable to find any solid evidence which supports his (Jim Cowan’s) claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.

At the time we described it as a ridiculous claim. Why?
– Because CRUK had failed to contact Jim Cowan to ascertain what evidence he might hold.
– Because CRUK had failed to consult numerous witnesses who would tell them the origins of the event.
– Because they had excluded numerous external parties. 
– Because CRUK had previously admitted to having no documentation from the early years of Race for Life.

Given the above ‘oversights’ it is difficult to see how the inquiry, if it even happened, could have been anything other than lip-service aimed at continuing the charity’s long-term denial of the facts aimed at justifying their continued refusal to give Jim Cowan the recognition he rightly deserves.

Despite the experience of over 25 years telling him it would probably be a waste of time, Jim Cowan decided to contact CRUK. Either, by some miracle, they would finally accept the facts so evident to everyone else who has seen them or, more likely, the claimed enquiry would be exposed as yet another work of fiction among so many others. Fiction created with the sole aim of covering up the truth.

On 23rd December Jim emailed CRUK sharing links to numerous documents via Google Drive. These documents are all in the public domain, free to view on this site and included:
– His 1993 letter to the charity proposing and outlining the event.
– A letter on the charity’s letterhead, signed by their then Head of Events which clearly stated that he had “come up with the original idea.”
– A letter from their own Jill Baker following on from Jim’s proposal and confirming their initial meeting.
– Evidence of the many various incorrect claims as to the origins of the event made by CRUK and their staff over the years.
– Evidence exposing Jill MacRae’s (Jill Baker’s married name) fraudulent claims to being the creator of the event.
– He also informed CRUK that he could produce witnesses who were present in 1993 and 1994 whose evidence would support the facts he was presenting.

The first reply, dated 18th January, was simply to say that CRUK could not access the files on the Google Drive.

Jim replied to this email providing further links adding that he was cynical about the inquiry as it had never been mentioned in any previous correspondence. He wondered:
– If it had taken place prior to that correspondence, why was the inquiry not reopened in light of Jim’s offer to meet and share documentary evidence (in 2017 and 2019), evidence any inquiry could not have seen?
– If after that correspondence, why was Jim excluded?

On 8th February, CRUK eventually replied, ignoring these questions and simply stating that having reviewed the documents Jim had provided they had not changed their view that the origins of the Race for Life were “not clear.” 

On 9th February Jim replied thanking CRUK for their “not unexpected” reply. He stated that it was; “disappointing, but not surprising, that CRUK shows no interest in talking to any of the witnesses who will support my position; something which only strengthens the belief that the aim of the charity’s investigation was not to uncover the truth but to continue denying it.

He went on; “Beyond speaking to witnesses, might I suggest that if the charity is not acting dishonestly and without integrity, one of the ways to evidence this would be by sharing your investigation, including all of the ‘evidence’ considered? Indeed, any enquiry worth its salt would seek to have full transparency so as not to undermine its findings.

He then added; “I would be very interested to discover what ‘evidence’ might exist that trumps a clear statement from your own Head of Events stating that the original idea was mine. And if anyone is accusing me of being dishonest in my claim, it is a cornerstone of any worthwhile justice system that I be allowed to defend myself against my accuser.

He then finished saying; “I look forward, albeit without much hope, to receiving a copy of your investigation.

Over three weeks later, the silence from CRUK is deafening.

In the absence of a response the only conclusion that can be drawn is that if an inquiry really did take place, it only served one purpose; to continue the cover up and to continue denying Jim the rightful and deserved recognition for being the person who created the Race for Life.

Here at Race 4 Truth we call on Cancer Research UK to open up their so-called ‘inquiry’ to public scrutiny. If it was genuine, what could they possibly have to hide? What could they possibly stand to lose? All without asking why any genuine inquiry wouldn’t seek independence from interested parties, CRUK included?

The truth, as we know, is consistent. And ever since 1993 when he first came up with the idea, Jim Cowan’s version of events has not altered. It has remained consistent, backed by evidence.

Lies, on the other hand, are rarely consistent. They alter to fit need. And, over the last 25+ years, CRUK and their employees have told a range of different tales. They have lacked any consistency and, conveniently, have no records of the early years of Race for Life.

Consistency supported by evidence versus inconsistency supported by lies, hypocrisy, and a refusal to face public scrutiny. Which do you believe?

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

CANCER RESEARCH UK’S RIDICULOUS NEW RACE FOR LIFE CLAIM

After over a quarter of a century of false claims, lies, hypocrisy, and covering for fraud, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) are now peddling a ridiculous new claim in order to prevent giving Jim Cowan the recognition due for creating the Race for Life.

In an email CRUK’s Director of Fundraising, Simon Ledsham, has made the claim that they had, “explored all reasonable lines of enquiry” and had been “unable to find any solid evidence which supports his Jim Cowan’s claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.” The claim was repeated a couple of weeks later by CRUK’s Senior Press Officer Thea MacLeod-Hall in another email.

It is a ridiculous claim.

CRUK have previously stated that they have no documentation from the early years of the Race for Life. It is therefore unclear how their investigation was carried out or who was included.

If an internal enquiry, then it was flawed by having no documentation to refer to, and by excluding those, such as Jim, who could provide valuable evidence.

If an enquiry that included external parties, why was Jim not included? After all, they are aware that he does have copies of original documentation, including his own proposal letter and correspondence from their own staff. In addition, they are also aware that Jim could put them in touch with a number of witnesses who could verify the origins of the event. They should also be aware that Jim had even offered to sit down with Michelle Mitchell, CRUK’s CEO, with this evidence as recently as 2017; an offer which was ignored.

Therefore, the only conclusion possible is that their ‘enquiry’ had no intention of uncovering the truth. Their investigation was merely a smoke screen designed to give the impression of having tried to establish the facts while keeping heads firmly stuck in the sand and deliberately missing an opportunity to correct over 25 years of lies. And a crude tool with which to deliberately mislead anyone making enquires.

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

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!

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.

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!

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 within 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 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.