Deborah Hutton Award winner 2020

Published: 02 February 2022
A man standing outside

The Deborah Hutton Award celebrates exceptional individuals who go above and beyond to support people living with and affected by cancer. This year's award goes to Chris Hughes, who has previously had cancer. 

'Chris is a very caring person.'

Chris Hughes

Chris is a very caring person who gives a lot of his time to supporting people living with cancer, often several at once, including those not in his local area.

He is currently training to become a Macmillan HOPE course facilitator to support people emotionally after cancer treatment.

Chris also took part in the My Cancer Stories project at Leicester Royal Infirmary, which is an online tool to let people going through a similar cancer experience know that they are not alone and other people have survived cancer too.

Due to the positive feedback the Charnwood Befriending service has received about Chris, he tends to be matched with complex referrals such as problematic end of life or difficult family situations.

Chris says: 'Everyone needs different types of support and some people need more support than others. For some people, it’s practical, like helping with the cleaning or shopping; other people just need someone to talk to. One of the couples I recently supported was a husband and wife. The wife had lung cancer and her husband had mobility issues. They needed someone to chat to as well as going food shopping and collecting prescriptions. Because I’ve had cancer myself, we could speak very openly about things that were important to them.'

"Chris is now training to be a Macmillan HOPE course facilitator."

The Deborah Hutton Award

Deborah Hutton wrote ‘What can I do to help?’ a book published by Macmillan that offers 75 practical ways family and friends can help a loved one through cancer. Sadly, Deborah passed away from lung cancer in 2005. Created in her memory, The Deborah Hutton award celebrates an individual who:

  • provides one-to-one support, offering a listening ear, or giving advice and support to people affected by cancer
  • shows care and compassion for people affected by cancer
  • demonstrates empathy in their volunteer role
  • is there for people when they need support the most - whether it's just one person, or many people affected by cancer.

'Because I've had cancer myself, I can speak very openly about things.'