RESEARCHERS in Newcastle are joining forces to highlight the impact local people can have on Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research – by simply ticking a box.

On 1 July 2017, Cancer Research UK will become one of the first charities to be an ‘opt in’ charity – meaning it will only contact supporters who have given their explicit permission.

Dr Max Temple, a research technician at the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Centre, and PhD student Rosie Jackson are backing the ‘just a tick’ campaign and they want everyone in the city to join them.

The charity is inviting existing supporters to visit www.cruk.org/justatick and tick a box to show how they want to be contacted by Cancer Research UK.

Both Dr Temple and Rosie are funded by Cancer Research UK and are passionate about encouraging people to use their ‘tick’ to help beat cancer, because they know research has the power to save lives.

But carrying out good research is expensive, which is why Cancer Research UK needs to continuously raise funds and be able to contact supporters to tell them about the ways they can get involved and inform them about the latest scientific advances.

Dr Temple is funded as part of the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Accelerator Award, an initiative which provides infrastructure support to research centres like the one in Newcastle in order to encourage collaboration and boost ‘bench to bedside’ science.

He is responsible for molecular biology, protein production, assay development and crystallography, all key in the fight against cancer.

He said: “Effective partnerships are crucial for delivering the greatest science and boosting advancements in fighting cancer. It’s through working together and uniting expertise that we will do better research and save more lives.

“I want to encourage people to tick to ‘opt in’ to communications from Cancer Research UK. It means the charity can spread the word about the work of the doctors, nurses and scientists it funds and tell supporters how they can get involved and help raise money to help fund more research like mine.”

Being able to contact its supporters is one of the most effective ways for Cancer Research UK to raise money for life-saving research and to fund new ground-breaking treatments.

Rosie, who completes her PhD this year, said: “Thanks to new treatments and improvements in early diagnosis, more people are surviving cancer today than ever before. But too many lives are still lost. There are hundreds of types of cancer and we need continued investment in research to help us find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat them.”

Lisa Millett, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North East, said: “We’re very grateful to Dr Temple and Rosie for helping us to highlight our ‘just a tick’ campaign. They know the importance of research and the power we all have to make a difference. We’re urging everyone to follow their lead and ‘opt in’ to communications from Cancer Research UK.

“A tick may not seem like much, but it has the power to do great things. Our supporters are at the heart of everything we do, so it’s really important that they actively choose to hear from us.”

In May, Cancer Research UK will launch the latest series of films for its ‘Right Now’ campaign, which aims to show the reality of cancer for patients, their friends and family. The powerful TV adverts – which were filmed in Newcastle in September 2016 show real patients in real-life moments – are a call for everyone to take action in the battle against cancer.

Lisa continued: “We need supporters to choose to ‘opt in’ when asked so that, together, we can work to beat this devastating disease. Right now, their tick is one of the most important tools in the fight against cancer.”

Cancer Research UK announced its intention to become an ‘opt in’ charity in March 2016, and started asking all new supporters to opt in from April 2016. By 1 July 2017, this will extend to all existing supporters.

To find out more and ‘opt in’, visit www.cruk.org/justatick