Becoming chair of the Prostate Project

As the new Chair I want to make some opening remarks about our agenda. I am really proud, privileged and honoured to have been asked to take on the Chair role and want the Prostate Project achieve a great deal over the few years. The charity has achieved fantastic things, culminating in the opening of the Stokes Centre for Urology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, but there is always more to aim for.

Aiming high

I knew that taking over Chair from Colin Stokes would be difficult at the best of times but never thought for one minute that I would have to cope with a lockdown due to Covid19 which really restricts what we can do. Fortunately, we do not have significant overheads so financially we can weather the storm better than other charities, but it does put a significant dent in our fund raising activities that were planned over this spring and probably the rest of the year. It also delays us in getting going on our plan to ‘Wage War Against Prostate Cancer’. Tim Sharp, our President, came up with this brilliant initiative and I want us to take it to the next level.

The Waging War plan now has 7 core campaigns where we want to make advances that you will hear about over the next year:

  • Awareness of Prostate Cancer

  • PSA Screening

  • The role of GPs

  • Cancer Research & Clinical Trials

  • Use of other technologies

  • Investment in Major Capital Projects

  • Funding the Campaign

What we can do now

However, there are some changes we can get on with now despite the lockdown. With our new Communications lead, Patrick Haveron, we are improving our presence on social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. Our website will have regular updates on Prostate cancer as well as monthly newsletters. We are trying also putting in place online fund raising and the processes to achieve this. I don’t like asking our members for more money at these difficult times but if you would like to increase your donation or can undertake any fund raising activity it would be really helpful. Please call or e-mail me at about how to do this.

One thing that troubles me deeply is that there are men out there now who are suffering in silence. In short they have the symptoms of prostate cancer but don’t want to bother their GP because they see the NHS under strain and they are worried about having to visit hospital when there is Covid19 around. We have to do something about this soon as our aim is to reduce the number of men dying from prostate cancer.

Please be assured that the Prostate Project charity has a strong future and we will come through this. We are meeting ‘virtually as a committee’ and are planning how we restart the charity when this over. Removal of the lockdown may help but social distancing means we are going to have to do things differently.

I look forward to working with you all over the months and years ahead.

Alf  Turner

Chair, the Prostate Project
Managing Director, Healthcare Partners Ltd (part of the Royal Surrey Hospital)

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