Fighting Prostate Cancer

Who We Are

The Prostate Project is a Registered Charity established in 1998.

We pride ourselves on being run almost entirely by volunteers and on keeping administration costs at 5%. Based in Guildford, we support the Royal Surrey County Hospital, St Luke’s Cancer Centre, Frimley Park Hospital and the Oncology Research Group at the University of Surrey.

Our involvement, support and fundraising have been significant factors in the Royal Surrey County Hospital being widely recognised as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in the treatment and diagnosis of the disease. The medical team at the four locations (some of whom are Trustees) are intimately involved with the Charity and work closely with their non-medical colleagues. We want to maintain the contribution we make and keep spreading the word about the value of early diagnosis as a key to improved cure rates. All our work has one ultimate goal – to bring direct benefits to prostate cancer sufferers and their families.

Why are we different to other charities

We focus directly on our excellent regional hospitals. We are linked to a key Health University which has a 5 star rating and have funded the creation of a dedicated research team at the University of Surrey. We bring together inputs from patients, medical experts and researchers in deciding on our priorities and on how to increase the impact of our work and funding on outcomes for patients, for example securing shorter lead times for diagnosis and treatment.

In the past 25 years we have raised over £8 million and helped the Royal Surrey County Hospital achieve ‘Centre of Excellence’ status in the treatment of prostate cancer. We support the Royal Surrey County Hospital, St Luke’s Cancer Centre and Frimley Park Hospital in their efforts to detect and treat prostate cancer. We have provided equipment, specialist nursing staff and run an active patient support group.

The Prostate Project also funds the scientists working at the University of Surrey, supporting their work developing innovative immunotherapy treatments and drugs for men with advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer.

In 2011, the Royal Surrey County Hospital asked us if we could raise £1.3m towards a new landmark Urology Centre. In 2013 they increased that figure to £2m. Thanks to the incredible support, we exceeded that amount and are now equal funding partners with the hospital having raised almost £3m.

This is one of the most significant investments in Urological services in the UK for over a decade, helping to establish the Royal Surrey internationally as a leading prostate cancer centre of excellence, capable of treating more men with early disease than any other unit in the UK.

Stokes Urology Centre

Our research initiative, launched in 2006 at the University of Surrey, has grown to become the largest charity-funded prostate cancer research group in the UK. Currently 25 strong, the Prostate Project research team are producing results of international importance including the development of antibodies against targets on the surface of prostate cancers, the development of vaccines from the patient’s own immune cells, and the impact of tumour microbiomes on the differences in outcomes for black men. They are currently investigating new techniques to identify and treat advanced prostate cancer using immunotherapy. Currently three quarters of men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer die within five years.

2023 will see the launch of our most ambitious effort since the Centre opened with the introduction of the ‘Man Van’, a mobile PSA blood testing clinic providing easy access to testing for men across the region. The PSA test is a simple blood test to help detect prostate cancer.

The stark fact is that prostate cancer claims a life every 45 minutes, that’s 12,000 UK men a year, but hope is provided by increasing the awareness of men over the age of 50 that with early diagnosis, prostate cancer is one of the most treatable cancers and this latest initiative will help to ensure even more positive outcomes for men in and around Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.

The Prostate Project is on a mission to let every son, dad, uncle, brother, grandad and husband know that they need to get tested.

Our Principal Aims & Objectives – Fighting Prostate Cancer

• To raise awareness, particularly amongst men, of the existence of prostate cancer, its symptoms and its potential adverse effect
• To encourage wider recognition of the symptoms of the disease and swifter action in seeking GP’s advice
• To fund state of the art equipment and specialist staff to support Urologists in achieving early diagnosis and rapid treatment
• To push forward the boundaries of knowledge about prostate cancer by initiating a world class programme of research
• Having co-funded the building of a world-class model NHS Stokes Centre for Urology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, to​ ensure the Centre attracts high calibre specialists and technicians and has the most advanced equipment, and to improve access to the PSA blood test via the innovative ManVan.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Colin Stokes (Founder and Ambassador)
Colin Stokes (Founder and Ambassador)

Colin Stokes established the Prostate Project in 1998 with his consultant urological surgeon, Mr John Davies, after Colin was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 58. With his background working at Unilever and running his own consultancy company, Colin worked tirelessly as a volunteer Chairman for 21 years, overseeing the establishment of the oncology research team at the University of Surrey and building the Stokes Centre for Urology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Having retired as Chair in 2020, Colin continues to support the charity through his role as Ambassador, reaching out to the local community through talks, presentations and interviews. Colin was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Surrey and an MBE for services to cancer patients.

Tim Sharp (Hon President)
Tim Sharp (Hon President)

Tim Sharp is one of the founding trustees of the Prostate Project. He is married with 3 children and has lived locally for almost 50 years. A lifelong career in advertising has equipped him to handle all of the charity’s publicity and PR from day one. He conceived and ran all the appeals that have helped raise over £10m since 1998. He relinquished his active publicity role in March 2020 but remains the charity’s President. His wife Valerie, has been a volunteer for Save the Children for over 30 years.

One of his daughters is the actress Victoria Hamilton who played the Queen Mother in the Netflix Series 1 production of ‘The Crown’. She is a patron of the Prostate Project.

Meet Our Trustees

Martin Davies (Chair)
Martin Davies (Chair)

I have lived in Guildford since 1997. I was born in 1954 in Stockport, Cheshire, was educated at a local county grammar school, and then read PPE at Oxford University. My work career, from 1976 to 2014, was in international financial markets both directly (1976 – 1997) and as a service provider in executive search (1998 – 2014). I am married to a retired Professor of Nursing and have one son with his own family who all live overseas.

After my own prostate cancer experience in 2021 and loss of a friend to the disease in early 2023, I decided to volunteer for The Prostate Project to raise awareness among men of all backgrounds in testing for the disease and to contribute to the work of the NHS at RSCH Guildford, which has so expertly treated me. My personal experience of prostate cancer in 2021 has given me insight into the remarkable strides being taken in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of this dreadful disease, much of which has been pioneered at The Stokes Centre for Urology. 

I was elected Charities Governor at the Royal Surrey in May 2023 at RSCH.

I read extensively, both fiction and history, walk and cycle as weather permits, like to visit my overseas family, and am an active member of The County Club, Guildford.

Andrew Bolton (Treasurer)

Anthony Wootton

Anthony was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in March 2023 after a PSA test result of 16.4, subsequently NHS test confirmed the result, followed by MRI and biopsy.  pT3a and Gleason of 3+4.  No family history of Prostate Cancer and no symptoms. Prostate removed at Royal Surrey County Hospital / Stokes Centre for Urology on the 30th of August 2023. Two PSA results to date both undetectable, meaning I am cancer free.

Identical twin currently undergoing treatment for Prostate Cancer.

I own a small building energy company focused on mechanical services, a company I started in 2006 which takes me around the country.  Due to the operation and back issues work cannot be 100% of my focus, my time now is a mixture of family and work, whilst also allowing time to dedicate towards The Prostate Project.

Anthony is 53 years old, married with three children (two boys 26 / 27 and a daughter 17).

Mike Collins

Chris Critchlow

Chris is a lawyer, former judge, and former High Sherriff of Surrey. He brings a wealth of experience in private and public offices. He is a Prostate Cancer survivor.

His Honour Christopher Allan Critchlow LL.B DL.  Barrister, Inner Temple, Bencher since 2003, Circuit Judge 2000-2016, Hon. Recorder of Guildford 2010-2017. Deputy Lieutenant 2009, High Sheriff of Surrey 2022/23. Governor of Guildford RGS 2003-18. Vice-Chairman of Trustees of Painshill Park.

Patron of Catalyst, mental health charity. Ambassador for Community Foundation for Surrey. Ambassador for GASP

Member of the Reform Club, County Club, Clandon Regis Golf Club. High Sheriffs Association Council Member

Prostate cancer diagnosed 2013: Gleason 9, high dose brachytherapy at UCH, radiotherapy at the Royal Surrey 2014.

Alex Boden

Alex Boden, was born (Epsom), raised (Oxshott), educated (Wimbledon) and lives (Guildford) in Surrey. After 15 years working in Corporate Finance, including 5 years in the management team of the Corporate Finance division of Houlihan Lokey, an $8bn NYSE-listed Financial Services Business, Alex is currently starting a Data & Analytics business and consulting.

Father of two, Alex is a keen ultra-marathon runner, swim-runner, sailor, skier, and Ceroc dancer. He is a member of Guildford Golf Club, Pit Farm Tennis Club, the Royal Automobile Club, and a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. He an MA and a BA from University College London.

Stuart McGuire

Stuart McGuire, is involved in the business of clinical trials. He is Chief Business Officer at Veramed (from 2019), after two years at Alliance Management Biotech, and prior to that was seventeen years at Chiltern International (now Covance), a global contract research organization, is a leading provider of clinical services and solutions in a variety of therapeutic areas with engagement models for biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. . He has a B.SC. in Chemistry from the University of Surrey.

Matt Perry, Consultant Urological Surgeon at the Royal Surrey Hospital.
Matt Perry, Consultant Urological Surgeon at the Royal Surrey Hospital.
Prof. Hardev Pandha, Professor of Medical Oncology and a Consultant Medical Oncologist at St Lukes Cancer Centre at Royal Surrey
Prof. Hardev Pandha, Professor of Medical Oncology and a Consultant Medical Oncologist at St Lukes Cancer Centre at Royal Surrey
Simon Bott, Consultant Urologist at Frimley Park Hospital
Simon Bott, Consultant Urologist at Frimley Park Hospital
Dr Carla Perna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Royal Surrey Hospital
Dr Carla Perna, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at the Royal Surrey Hospital
Prof. Stephen Langley, Professor and Clinical Director of Urology at the Royal Surrey County
Prof. Stephen Langley, Professor and Clinical Director of Urology at the Royal Surrey County

Meet Our Patrons

Felicity Kendal
Felicity KendalActor
Les Spaine
Les SpaineLes Spaine Music
Jackie Alliss
Jackie AllissOwner & Manager - Alliss Promotions (Golf)
Michael Buerk
Michael BuerkJournalist, Broadcaster, Presenter
Victoria Hamilton
Victoria HamiltonActress
Rupert Thompson
Rupert ThompsonManaging Director - Hogs Back Brewery
Kenney Jones
Kenney JonesDrummer - Small Faces, Faces & The Who
Colin Brumpton
Colin BrumptonEntrepreneur, Business Consultant
Bishop of Guildford
Bishop of Guildford
Anne Milton
Anne MiltonFormer MP of Guildford
Harvey McGrath
Harvey McGrathBusiness & Philathropy Execurive

Meet Our Team

Katherine Hammersley
Katherine Hammersley

Katherine Hammersley supports the Prostate Project as the charity secretary, alongside looking after volunteers, fundraising and events and managing the website and social media. She gave vital support to Tim Sharp’s fundraising appeals for building the Stokes Centre for Urology and OctoBeardFest. Katherine lives in Guildford and is also a community governor at a local Guildford primary school.

Why do great businesses help charities?

Because it’s the right thing to do.

We all know about Corporate Social Responsibility, some larger businesses even have dedicated CSR managers and as a charity we are of course delighted that companies take the matter of supporting good causes so seriously.

But what was there before Corporate Social Responsibility?

Well, there was certainly a lot of good work being done, it just didn’t have a name…it was just great companies and organisations doing their bit because it was ‘the right thing to do’. It might have been fundraising for a concern close to the heart of the business, a special cause to support or an initiative prompted by a specific appeal.

Great businesses do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

Of course, there are still examples of what we might describe as ‘corporate largesse’, and boy are we grateful for it, but there are also relationships that develop through an understanding of the quid pro quo involved in a professional arrangement.

As you can imagine, we have stacks of literature and leaflets to help raise awareness about prostate cancer.  We also have presentations available, which we can either deliver ourselves directly to your colleagues or give you the information to deliver yourselves.  We can attend company wellness days to answer any questions about the disease, and share information about the cancer research we help fund.  And when our ManVan (mobile PSA testing unit) is on the road, we hope we can come to your workplace to carry out blood tests to help detect prostate cancer.

Raising awareness and educating men (and their partners) about prostate cancer is vital.  Early prostate cancer is usually symptomless, so knowing the risks and empowering men to get diagnosed early is key, because caught early, prostate cancer is usually curable.

If you would like to learn more about how your business can work with the Prostate Project, please contact us:

Trusted Partners

We collaborate with local and national businesses, the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital and University of Surrey to give every man a better chance of beating prostate cancer.