Dimbleby Cancer Care

The charity was set up in 1966 following the untimely death at 52, from cancer, of Richard Dimbleby, one of Britain’s best loved broadcasters. Richard contracted cancer at a time when its mere mention was a taboo. His decision to go public did a huge amount to challenge and overcome that taboo.

Richard’s early death shocked the nation.  They wanted to mark their respect in some way, so Richard’s widow, Dilys, suggested they should send donations with which to set up a charity to support people with cancer.  The response was huge, and thus the Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund was established (it’s name was changed to Dimbleby Cancer Care in 2005).

One of  the charity’s first acts was to endow a chair in cancer research at King’s College London.  the current incumbent, Professor Tony Ng, leads a research team which is one of only a few in the world  which is using advanced tissue imaging techniques to develop methods of pinpointing the most effective drug treatments for each individual cancer patient.

However, the main focus of Dimbleby Cancer Care is the care and support needs of people with cancer, and those of their families and carers.  Over decades it has worked closely with staff at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in London and through that work has evolved the Dimbleby Cancer Care Support and Information Services.  These offer practical and psychological support as well as complementary therapies.  In the same vein, since 2005, the Dimbleby Cancer Care Research Fund has provided up to £500,000 a year for national research into the care needs of cancer patients and their families, and how best these needs can be met.

About Richard Dimbleby

Known as the ‘Voice of the Nation’, Richard was a unique broadcaster. At a time when television was new and novel, he brought it alive for millions. His death of cancer at only 52 shocked millions and the response to it demonstrated the need for more to be done for those living with cancer. Read about his life and work – and see the world famous “spaghetti tree hoax” that fooled millions.

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