Our history

Since Douglas Macmillan founded our charity in 1911, we have grown to be the UK’s leading source of cancer support, helping more and more people living with cancer, all with your help.

How our charity began

In 1911, a young man named Douglas Macmillan watched his father die of cancer. His father's pain and suffering moved Douglas so much, he founded the Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer.

The video below shares more about the story of Macmillan's heritage and how supporting people affected by cancer remains our focus today.

Douglas wanted advice and information to be provided to all people with cancer, homes for patients at low or no cost, and voluntary nurses to attend to patients in their own homes.

Macmillan Milestones

Our history 2020s
About us - Our history 2010s