Penny Brohn UK 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

Penny Brohn

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 UK 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.

A further move followed in 2007, to larger, purpose designed premises set within beautiful grounds just outside Bristol.

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.

Pat’s constant and enduring service for those affected by cancer and their families was recognised in 2003 when she was awarded an MBE.

Pat passed away in 2013 but her legacy, together with Penny, will continue to provide invaluable support and care to many thousands of people living with the impact of cancer.