Royal London announces major new charity partnership with Cancer Research UK aimed at tackling cancer inequalities

Published  24 May 2023
   3 min read

Royal London, the UK’s largest life, pensions and investment mutual, has announced a new £1.2 million charity partnership with Cancer Research UK tackling cancer inequalities1.

The partnership will fund research into hard-to-treat cancers and initiatives to improve the pathway to early diagnosis, as well as support programmes that increase cancer awareness in communities.

Aligned to its purpose2, Royal London’s existing social impact and charitable giving strategy is focused on helping people to cope with life shocks and supporting those in financial crisis, primarily through its Changemakers programme and its existing partnership with UK charity, Turn2us. The new initiative with Cancer Research UK broadens its strategy further, aiming to help prevent life shocks happening in the first place.

1 in 2 people in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime3 and cancer inequalities, because of socioeconomic status, education, gender, ethnicity, age, and even where someone lives, can impact health and, more specifically, cancer outcomes.

In 2022, 65% of Royal London’s critical illness cover claims related to cancer, demonstrating the link between health and financial resilience. Cancer diagnosis not only creates a life shock in the short-term but also restricts those affected, and loved ones who provide care, from protecting their future standard of living through limiting their ability to build up savings. 

Barry O’Dwyer, Group Chief Executive at Royal London, said: "Cancer continues to affect 1 in 2 people in the UK so we are proud to be working in partnership with Cancer Research UK to help save lives and improve cancer outcomes for all. 

"Aligned with our purpose, our partnership will focus on increasing awareness, funding research into hard-to-treat cancers, and helping to reduce cancer inequalities, which have a significant impact on the outcome for those affected, for this and future generations."

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said: "Cancer inequalities are an unacceptable reality. We’re incredibly grateful that with the support of Royal London we can continue our vital research and further our bold ambitions to improve cancer survival for all. 

"This new partnership will help fund programmes across early diagnosis and screening to new innovations for hard-to-treat cancers. This is such an important area as ensuring that everyone affected by cancer has access to the care they need and deserve will ultimately save more lives."

Royal London colleagues and customers will be given the opportunity to support the partnership through fundraising and donating.

You can read more about the partnership on Royal London’s dedicated Cancer Research Partnership webpage.

For further information please contact:


Notes to editor

  1. Inequalities can impact risk of getting or surviving cancer due to differences in peoples’ health and opportunities to lead a healthy life, their access to care and the quality of care they receive. Research conducted by Cancer Research UK has shown that whilst over the last 40 years improvements have been made in how cancer is prevented and detected in some cancers, this has not been the same across all.
  2. Royal London’s purpose, ‘Protecting today, investing in tomorrow. Together we are mutually responsible’, was conceived in 2020 and defines the impact it wants to have on the world, for its customers and for society.
  3. Ahmad A.S., Ormiston-Smith N. & Sasieni P.D. (2015)

About Royal London

Royal London is the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, and in the top 25 mutuals globally, with assets under management of £153 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and over 4,100 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2023. Learn more at

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research, influence and information. 
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.  
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK wants to accelerate progress and see 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034. 
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into the prevention and treatment of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses. 
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK is working towards a world where people can live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. 
  • For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please visit