A Luton mother-of-two and cancer survivor has been honoured with a national award by Cancer Research UK.
Elizabeth Bailey has been announced as the charity’s Ambassador of the Year at this year’s Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Awards, which recognise outstanding contribution to the organisation.
Elizabeth, who is researching the culture of the media and political participation on social media at the University of Bedfordshire, is one of hundreds of ambassadors across the country, whose key aim is to persuade decision-makers in their areas to bring in new laws and investment in cancer services that will ultimately save lives.
She took up the role after having breast cancer in 2010.
“Following finding a lump in my left breast, I had 10 months of radiotherapy. I was in my 40s and being a mum of two young children it was quite a traumatic time. It’s a big, big life changer; I decided to leave my job at the civil service and I wanted to give something back to help others and to promote a charity.
“I have worked in communications for many years, so I wanted to work in some way which would help spread knowledge further, to make people conscious that they need to be body aware and check themselves regularly.
“I have always been interested in politics and it links in with my research at university, so I took up the Ambassador role and today I have a close relationship with Luton’s MPs as I campaign to further improve the healthcare for cancer patients.”
Campaigns Elizabeth has worked on include ‘Voice for Radiotherapy’. The campaign resulted in the government making millions of pounds worth of extra provision for radiotherapy services.
Of recent she has also been very involved in the standardised packaging for cigarettes campaign, where she has visited Westminster to speak to MPs and Lords directly.
Elizabeth added: “I was honoured to receive the award. It was great just to be at the event, I was amazed by the range of volunteers, from children to nonagenarians.”
It really is a great charity supported by really enthusiastic volunteers.”
Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK Chief Executive, said: “Cancer Research UK has made enormous progress in the fight against cancer and has ambitious plans to make even further progress over the next 20 years.
“However, progress is only made possible thanks to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and supporters without whom we would not be able to fund outstanding scientists, doctors and nurses.
“Our Flame of Hope Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to these enormously generous volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work they do.”