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Addenbrooke’s Christmas Appeal

This year, our Christmas appeal is supporting parents with cancer and their families. At Addenbrooke’s, we believe that no child should have to lose their parents to cancer.

For mothers and fathers, the diagnosis can be particularly upsetting, as they naturally worry about what their children may have to go through, and whether they might be left on their own.

This letter below is from Ijeoma – a cancer patient and mother of four children. Your support this Christmas means more mothers like Ijeoma will be there for their children despite being diagnosed with cancer.

By making a gift today, you could help to make diagnosis, care and treatment even better for cancer patients at Addenbrooke’s, as well as their families.


Addenbrooke’s arts team scoop national award for work on cancer care

(CUH press release)

CUH Arts, Cambridge University Hospitals’ arts-in-health programme, has claimed a prestigious national healthcare award for its work on exploring the role of arts and culture in cancer care environments.

The hospital arts programme received a Building Better Healthcare award in the ‘Patient Experience’ category at the UK healthcare awards on 1 November 2023. The award ‘Best Collaborative Arts Project (Performance)’ was recognised for the team’s creative engagement work with patients and staff to help shape the design of the future Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.

Natalie Ellis and Ellen Nowak, CUH Arts

The specialist cancer research hospital for the East of England will bring NHS staff from Addenbrooke’s Hospital and scientists from the University of Cambridge and its Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre under one roof, in a new world-class facility being built on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Research from both the UK and internationally has shown that using arts in care settings can significantly improve patient experience, health outcomes, and create positive working environments.

The programme, generously funded by the kind supporters of Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT), saw the CUH Arts team (Natalie Ellis and Ellen Nowak, CUH Arts pictured above right) facilitate workshops and research trips with staff and patients, exploring how nature, the environment and outdoor spaces can positively impact hospital environments. The team hope to incorporate their learnings into the Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital, as well as inspiring their work in current and future oncology spaces.

Ellen Nowak, from the CUH Arts Team said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this national award, which recognises the value of our creative approach to engaging with staff and patients as we design cancer care for the future.

“We are deeply grateful to everyone who so generously shared their time, experiences and creativity with us.

“Through this work we have learnt so much about the vital role that the arts play in humanising our hospitals, and we look forward to putting this into practice as we design the new Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.”

Patient representative trying out interactive play equipment in UCLH Proton Beam Therapy Centre

As part of the award-winning programme, patients, staff and Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital’s project team visited the Oxford Cancer Centre and University College London Hospitals Proton Beam Therapy Centre, to learn from their experience of using arts within NHS oncology environments.

The CUH Arts team commissioned writer Hannah Jane Walker and botanical dye specialist Mia Sylvia to facilitate eight workshops in partnership with the University of Cambridge Museums.

The sessions, run at different museums in Cambridge, explored materials, textures and botanicals found in the natural world through expressive writing, pottery, natural dye-making, and wild flower-foraging to explore themes of rootedness, time, self, beauty, imperfection, strength and authority – all of which have profound relevance in the context of cancer care.

The activities facilitated conversations about experiences, care and ideas for future hospitals amongst the patients, clinical and research staff and museum professionals. Hannah Jane Walker observed conversations and has since created a publication of her learnings, titled ‘Arts and Culture in Oncology Environments’, detailing what cancer patients and staff want from arts and culture while in hospital.

Susan Arnold, a patient involved in the design of Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital, said: “It feels amazing to be useful for something. After a process like cancer, where you have been made to feel redundant, passive, and irrelevant, to be asked for my opinion on something that can make it a better experience for others. I feel very emotional and I really appreciated being asked to share my experience.”

A co-produced exhibition with Mia Sylvia, titled ‘A Big Natural Colour Chart’ which showcases the artwork is now on display at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Addenbrooke’s becomes first NHS hospital to use AI cancer treatment thanks to ACT supporters

Addenbrooke’s has become the first NHS hospital to use thermal ablation (hot needle treatment) to destroy life-threatening tumours in one go, including hard-to-reach cancers.

Through the generosity of ACT supporters, we were able to buy the £250,000 thermal ablation machine following a two-year pilot involving 50 patients with liver cancer. Less than half of those treated during the pilot needed further treatment. The hospital is now looking at how this treatment can be expanded to kidney and other cancer patients.

Combining the precision of AI and thermal ablation means hard-to-reach or very small tumours can be more easily and effectively treated without the need for repeat treatments.

Hear more below from Consultant radiologist Nadeem Shaida about how this incredible machine will save the lives of more people with cancer.

Read an interview with Dr Nadeem Shaida on the amazing cascination machine on pages 4 and 5 of our latest Impact magazine.

Read the coverage of the cascination machine on the BBC website.

Thank you to the Julius Jones Trust, whose generosity will transform the care Addenbrooke’s offers children and their families

The Julius Jones Trust have pledged £1.6m to help transform the care of sick children by creating a new children’s ward at Addenbrooke’s and setting up a group of specialist psychologists, family support workers, occupational therapists and play therapists who will support the emotional wellbeing of families, providing wrap around care to support families through diagnoses and treatment.

The Julius Jones Trust was launched on the 15 October by Brad Jones, whose journey began when his five-year-old son, Julius, was diagnosed with a brain tumour following numerous seizures. Thankfully Julius made a full recovery, and Brad’s attention turned to supporting the organisation that saved his son’s life – the NHS. He recognised that whilst the NHS excels in diagnosing and curing individuals, there is a crucial need for additional mental and emotional support during these times and greater investment in new, essential support services to meet unmet human support needs within the NHS.

On the same day as launching the Julius Jones Trust itself, they are also launching their core fundraising arm; Win Amazing, a not-for-profit free prize draw offering incredible prizes that will raise funds for life-changing NHS support. ACT are delighted to be the first beneficiary of this new raffle, which aims to support the Julius Jones Trust in becoming the one of the country’s largest supporters of the NHS.

Through buying a ticket in their launch raffle, you will be directly helping to transform the care children and their families in the East of England receive at Addenbrooke’s. To find out more about this raffle, the prizes on offer, and the impact it will have, you can visit our Win Amazing page.

An illness doesn’t just affect a child, but everyone around them too — their parents, siblings, family, and friends. We are so delighted that they share our passion, our vision and have first-hand experience of what 360-degree care really means to the families of children affected by diagnosis. We can’t wait to get started!” – Professor Isobel Heyman (MBE), children’s mental health clinical lead

ACT is proud to be collaborating with the Julius Jones Trust from their launch. Through their pledge to transform the care children and their family receive today, they are helping to develop a brand-new approach to family wellbeing in hospital, helping families to navigate and somehow live with the life-changing impact of health diagnosis and treatment

If you would like to find out more about the Win Amazing raffle, including how to take part, click here.

Looking after our VIBees!

As part of Biodiversity Action Week at Addenbrooke’s, hospital staff and volunteers planted nectar-rich flowers into 10 pre-filled planters, funded by ACT supporters, providing colourful, nature-friendly spaces around the hospital campus for all.

These beautiful planters have turned drab, concrete spaces into a more appealing place to be as well as given nature a helping hand.

Click here to find out more about the hospital’s Green Plan to reduce its carbon footprint and increase biodiversity.

New app helps patients find the way

A new wayfinding app ‘CUH Directions’ funded by hospital supporters has been launched.

Now patients, families and visitors to Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie will be able to easily find their way around the hospital site, meaning less worry and stress getting to and from appointments.

The app was developed with the help of patient feedback and maps a route of images and text instructions when you provide a start and end point.

ACT CEO, Shelly Thake, said: “The charity is delighted to help launch the new CUH Directions app which was kindly funded by ACT supporters. Patients coming to the hospital, including those who are sight impaired or have learning disabilities, will now be able to find their way to appointments and wards from car parks and the bus station more easily.

Just visit the App Store or Google Play Store to download and install the app on on your device.

You can read more about the CUH Directions app on the hospital website.

The Rosie take on Snowdon!

Thirty amazing staff from across the Rosie Hospital recently signed up to support Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust by taking on Snowdon – the highest mountain in Wales. 

The team started their climb at 01.30 on 7 May, and successfully reached the summit to watch the most magnificent sunset – just look at those views!

The team raised over £4500 for ACT! Well done Team Rosie!

Could you do something to support Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie Hospitals?

Daffodils gifted to Addenbrooke’s staff raise lots of smiles

Yesterday, 5,000 bunches of cheerful daffodils, kindly supported by Scotsdales Nursery & Garden Centre Ltd and ACT, were handed out to Addenbrooke’s staff.

Volunteer teams from ACT and hospital supporters, Cambridge Commodities, were on hand to brighten people’s day and to say a huge thanks for all they do.

We loved seeing all the smiles as staff arrived or left their shifts. Who doesn’t like to receive a beautiful bunch of blooms?

#TeamAddenbrookes Cambridge Half Marathon runners raise £18,000 for hospital

On Sunday 5 March 2023, 27 amazing runners took part in the TTP Cambridge Half Marathon to support Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.

Supporters, patients, friends and family came together to form our group of dedicated #TeamAddenbrookes runners and through their fundraising efforts have so far raised over £18,000!

Along with our amazing supporters, six hospital staff members also took on the iconic 13.1 miles in support of their hospital, find out more about them and their fundraising stories below;

Pedro Silva – Pedro Silva is fundraising for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (

Camille Hudon – Camille Hudon is fundraising for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (

Damiano Barone – Damiano Giuseppe Barone is fundraising for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (

Jonathan Littlewood – Jonathan Littlewood is fundraising for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (

Htar Htar – Htar Htar Hlaing is fundraising for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (

Sarju Mehta – Sarju Mehta is fundraising for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (

A huge ‘well done’ to all our runners and a big THANK YOU to everyone who cheered them on or made a donation, this amazing amount of money will help to make our hospitals even better!

If you are interested in taking part in a fundraising event for #TeamAddenbrookes, we’d love to hear from you. Visit our website for more info or contact the team at

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust appoints new Chair of Trustees

The Board of Trustees at Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) has appointed a new Chair to lead the charity’s governance as it embarks on an exciting next chapter of fundraising and support for Cambridge University Hospitals.

Charles Packshaw

Charles Packshaw joined the Board of Trustees on 1 September, bringing with him experience as the Chair of Trustees at Prostate Cancer UK, and Framlingham College, in Suffolk. He will start his new post on 1 November, replacing the current Acting Chair of Trustees, Dr Mike Knapton.

Mr Packshaw said: “It was an honour to join the ACT Board of Trustees, and an even greater honour to be appointed Chair of Trustees. I am passionate about health, so I am delighted to be involved with a charity that makes such an enormous difference to the patients and staff of Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie.”

ACT Chief Executive, Shelly Thake, said: “I am delighted that Charles has agreed to accept the post of Chair, I am sure he will have a massive impact on the already excellent support and guidance provided by our Board of Trustees, and I look forward to working with Charles over the coming weeks, months, and years.

“I would also like to pay tribute to Dr Mike Knapton who stepped in as Acting Chair of Trustees on 1 April, following the departure of our former Chair, Dr Ros Smith. Mike’s leadership over the last six months has been invaluable, and very much appreciated.”

In addition to his past experience as a trustee, Charles holds two non-executive director posts and has more than 30 years’ experience as a banker at HSBC and at Lazard. Married with three children, the new Chair of Trustees is also a keen cyclist, who earlier this year took on the Ride London 100 challenge for the seventh time. His other interests include tennis and football.