THE chief executive of Pelican Cancer Foundation spoke to health and social care groups about the charity’s vital role in life-saving research.

Sarah Crane met with the Level 1 and Level 3 BCoT students to share her experiences of working with Pelican over the past six years.

The health and social care students learned about the role of health care and medical professionals as part of their course, and Sarah’s presentation was an insight into how charities can work with the NHS to support and promote research together.

The visit was timed to coincide with the college’s fifth RAD (research and development) week this year, which provides a regular opportunity for students to measure their own progress as well as take part in broader experiences, like talks and trips.

Pelican Cancer Foundation was established in 1993 following on from the work of Basingstoke hospital surgeon Professor Bill Heald.

It was noted that Prof Heald’s cancer patients not only survived longer but had a better quality of life post-surgery than was the norm.

Prof Heald published a paper on his precision operating methods, which were identified as the key factor in these survival rates.

Pelican was formed to help promote this technique, and it has now influenced how cancers are operated on around the world.

Mrs Crane was pleased to share some of the rewarding moments that she has experienced with Pelican, as well as the responsibilities that running a charity can bring.

She said: “A few years ago, I had a letter from an 11-year-old girl, enclosing her birthday money. Her uncle had just died from a rare cancer and she wanted to do something to help.

“Every time I get a donation, I remember that little girl and think very carefully about how Pelican should best spend the money we have been given.”

BCoT hopes to continue its association with Pelican and its vital work in the future, and is looking at work placements and job shadowing for some of its students.