The OrganisationAction Cancer was founded in 1973 byGeorge Edelstyn and is Northern Irelands leading, local, cancer charity.
Their mission is saving lives andsupporting people – this is done through cancer awareness, prevention,detection, and support. Action Cancerspecialise in breast cancer.What They DoAction Cancer provide services like…• free mammograms • therapeutic services such ascounselling, coaching, and support groups • peer mentoring • complementary therapies and pain relief interventions • M.O.T. health checks • research into cancer • information and advice on cancer, health, and general wellbeing • education and prevention programmes • health promotion programmes• campaigning and lobbying on cancer related issues to developlegislation and policy in Northern Ireland Action Cancer helps save and support50,000 people across Northern Ireland every year through the delivery of theseservices.
My Role There are 82 members of staff and 400volunteers employed at Action Cancer. There are three broad sectors in theorganisation;• Fundraising and Communications• Corporate• Professional servicesI was in the professional services sector,more specifically, research and evaluation, working as a research andevaluation officer.Why My Role Is ImportantAction Cancer need to raise £3.5 millionper year to continue to deliver their services. They receive no governmentfunding and rely on public donations. For this reason, it is important for themto effectively manage their resources.
This means continuously assessing andrevising their programmes and services so donations are used as wisely aspossible.My role as a research and evaluationofficer involved evaluating the Why Weight? lifestyle change programme andwriting up a scientific report to illustrate whether it was making adifference. My report will establish whether its a worthwhile service.My duties and Responsibilities Included • Data audit/ quality assurance checks• Data Inputting• Data analysis• Literature reviewing• Report writingProject breakdown According to government statistics breastcancer is the most common type of cancer in women in Northern Ireland. Roughly1,200 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in NI each year (Nidirect, 2015).Many lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity, have been linked toincreased risk of breast cancer (Mehra, Berkowits, Sanft, 2017). The WhyWeight? lifestyle change programme aimed to improve sustained healthylifestyles, reducing weight, and increasing physical activity to help reducethe risk of breast cancer. Key Findings• The number of sugary treats consumed halved • The amount of physical activity significantly increased by the end ofthe programme.
• Participants lost an average of 3.9 KGs by the end of the intervention.Take Home Message • I got to see psychological theory being used to benefit peopleseveryday lives.• Gave me the opportunity to be responsible for the completion of aproject and allowed me to practice my transferable skills.• Got an insight into the world of work and different career optionsavailable to me• Assured me I am prepared for the world of workReferencesMehra, K.
, Berkowitz, A. and Sanft, T.(2017).
Diet, Physical Activity, and Body Weight in Cancer Survivorship. MedicalClinics of North America, 101(6), pp.1151-1165.