Penny Brohn Cancer Care was founded in 1980 as the Bristol Cancer Help Centre by Penny Brohn and her great friend Pat Pilkington to offer support to people living with cancer.
Penny was in her early thirties, and married with three small children when her cancer was diagnosed. Penny travelled the world in search of the care she wanted - an immunotherapy clinic in Germany helped to treat the tumour, but she realised that this was not enough. Penny’s friend Pat Pilkington flew out from Bristol to join her at the clinic, and remembers Penny telling her that she - and others in her situation - needed not only medical treatment but also...
“care for the mind, the spirit, the emotions, the heart and the soul”
The two women decided to develop the support system Penny herself had needed so desperately, and to do it all under one roof - Penny Brohn Cancer Care was born.
The Charity started in the home of Pat and her husband Canon Pilkington. Following growing interest, including a BBC TV documentary series: "The Gentle Way With Cancer", the charity expanded and moved in 1983 to Grove House in Clifton, Bristol which was opened by HRH The Prince of Wales, who also became the Charity's active Patron in 1997.
In 2006, the Charity changed its name to celebrate and remember Penny who sadly passed away in 1999 having lived with cancer for twenty years. Her legacy has provided invaluable support and care to many thousands.
Pat Pilkington was awarded an MBE in 2003 in recognition of her work and remains an active trustee with the charity.