Cancer voices

Cancer Voices are people from across the UK who have all been affected by cancer in some way. They share their experiences to help shape cancer services and improve cancer care. There's no such thing as a typical Cancer Voice. They come from all age groups and walks of life. But the one thing they all have in common is that they're absolutely vital to our work.

What do cancer voices do?

As a Cancer Voice there are plenty of ways to get involved, including:

  • joining a hospital's advisory group
  • reviewing cancer information materials
  • talking to schools about your cancer experience
  • campaigning to change cancer policies
  • telling us what needs to improve in your area.

You can take part in one-off activities or make volunteering a regular commitment. It's up to you how active you want to be, how much time you offer and what activities you get involved in. Although some of our opportunities involve travelling, many can be done from home.

For most roles you won't need particular skills. Your key contribution as a Cancer Voice is your cancer experience and your ability to commit your time, energy and enthusiasm. We'll let you know if any of the activities need additional skills.

What support can I get as a Cancer Voice?

We want to make sure you feel happy and confident about carrying out different roles. We support you by offering:

  • attendance at the Cancer Voices conference
  • information and advice from the Macmillan team in your area  
  • an invitation to join the Cancer Voices group in our Online Community so you can chat to other Cancer Voices
  • access to courses via Learn Zone.
  • support and advice from local coordinators and other Cancer Voices in your region. Contact them directly.

How do I sign up?

  • Register and create an account. You'll be asked to choose a username and password
  • You'll then be able to view opportunities you might be interested in, and keep track of the ones you're taking part in        
  • Every time a new opportunity that matches your interests is posted on the website, you'll automatically receive an email alert.

Posting an opportunity

Macmillan teams and other organisations can add activities to the Cancer Voices Network. You can register as an ‘email only’ user to receive email alerts about the opportunities as they are posted. This can then be sent on to your patient groups. You can also register as an ‘organisation’ to post an opportunity for people affected by cancer.

What we look for when reviewing an opportunity:

  • Is this a genuine opportunity for a person affected by cancer to contribute to the improvement of cancer services at Macmillan or elsewhere and/or to raise awareness of the diverse realities of living with cancer? 
  • Is it an appropriate opportunity for people to have a say and make a difference? For example, will it be a productive experience for the person affected by cancer?
  • Could someone without an experience of cancer carry out the role? In this case is it actually a volunteering opportunity?
  • Is the opportunity profit-making or related to a commercial venture? It's Macmillan’s policy to accept only opportunities which are voluntary and not for profit.
  • If the opportunity is to participate in a piece of research, have you obtained any Research Ethics Committee approval which may be required? Is information about confidentiality and what will happen to the data collected available for people who participate?  


Cancer Voices, experienced and new, are invited to join us at our annual conference. This annual two day event is a great opportunity for you to hear about how Cancer Voices and Macmillan are working together, and to find out what new opportunities there are for you to get involved.

You'll be able to: 

  • contribute to discussions, debates and give your input on how we can improve cancer services
  • meet other people who have had similar experiences
  • hear about the future direction of Macmillan
  • benefit from training and skills workshops  

The conference usually takes place in October. It is open to all registered Cancer Voices and invitations are sent out around July. For further information, please contact us

Useful contacts

Macmillan has a network of local coordinators who are there to support you and answer your questions about getting involved with Cancer Voices. Our Macmillan Involvement Coordinators can offer support with:

  • getting involved locally
  • training opportunities
  • joining or setting up a self help and support group in your area