Ten years ago, Cancer Research UK was delighted to enter a three-year partnership with renewable energy company ScottishPower with the aim of raising £5m for our life-saving work. This was a very ambitious and exciting target as £5m can make a big difference to our research and the scientists, doctors and nurses making it happen.
We were also excited to embark on a partnership that would not only involve ScottishPower employees and suppliers but their customers too as ScottishPower created a bespoke energy tariff in aid of Cancer Research UK. On top of that, ScottishPower also agreed to sponsor two of our flagship events – Race for Life and Stand Up To Cancer – bringing hope to people affected by cancer.
Fast forward to today and the partnership has surpassed all expectations, both in its duration and total amount raised. To date, ScottishPower have contributed £35m to our life-saving work. This incredible milestone demonstrates the commitment of ScottishPower to Cancer Research UK and a future where no one has to fear cancer. And their support is not wavering.
We caught up with Pamela Rodgers, Marketing, Events and Fundraising Manager at ScottishPower, who has worked on the partnership almost since it began in 2012. Pamela reflects on how it has grown and evolved over the years, as well as some of her very personal reasons why she is so passionate and committed to its success.
What does the partnership mean to you and what motivates ScottishPower to continue working with Cancer Research UK?
For me, the partnership means working together with Cancer Research UK to raise awareness of cancer and fund vital research that will provide more breakthroughs and give families more time together. We see the progress being made. The recent news that the HPV vaccine has reduced cervical cancer rates in women in their 20s by almost 90% is ground-breaking and will undoubtedly save lives. We know that this progress is only possible if individuals and companies like ScottishPower continue to help fund research.
What do you think has made our partnership so successful?
It’s a genuine partnership. We walk the walk and talk the talk: from promoting ways to reduce your risk of getting cancer, to encouraging participation in the screening programmes available, to raising funds to further the work of the charity.
ScottishPower have raised an amazing £35m over the last 10 years – how has the partnership grown and developed in that time?
ScottishPower is more committed now than ever to bringing forward the day when all cancers are cured. Over the years, I feel the partnership has become stronger and our organisations even more aligned. We are excited to be supporting some specific research that is looking into what role air pollution plays in the development of lung cancer in people who have never smoked. This is a real area of interest for us given that ScottishPower is 100% committed to tackling climate change.
What has been your personal highlight during your time working on the partnership?
It’s difficult to choose because there have been so many! Raising £100k for Cancer Research UK from a single golf event was special. As was having Professor Charles Swanton, Chief Clinician at Cancer Research UK, speak at our COP26 event at our HQ in Glasgow about air pollution and cancer. This was fascinating and demonstrated how committed we are to creating a greener, healthier future for everyone.
What area of our research most excites you?
Lung cancer where patients are often diagnosed at later stages and survival rates need improving. This is an area that is close to my heart because my Mum died of lung cancer. It was devastating to watch the cancer take over her body and know that treatment options were limited. The work that’s going on at Cancer Research UK has the potential to create a better outcome for future lung cancer patients.
What do you envision for the future of the partnership and where would you like to see the partnership in 10 years’ time?
It’s all about progress. In prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment. If the partnership can help fund research in these areas and improve overall cancer survival rates, then we’ve done what we intended to do.
A huge congratulations and thank you to Pamela and everyone at ScottishPower, the employees, suppliers, and customers alike who have supported our partnership over the past 10 years and helped raise over £35m for our life-saving work. It really is an outstanding achievement and we are so privileged to have such a committed a passionate partner by our side. We can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring!