This document describes the aims and aspirations of Big C, and outlines the principle areas of focus for
its Trustees and Executive Team over the next three years. It is intended that this document becomes
the main reference point from which to evaluate performance of the charity and its employees. It is to be
regularly reviewed and updated. The future direction of the charity requires careful consideration and
management in order to avoid a fundamental shift away from the intentions of our founders.
Funds we raise are used to benefit people in Norfolk & Waveney, either by providing treatment and care
services ourselves or through partner organisations. We also support internationally acclaimed research
through local investment in significant project and equipment grants.
This Business Plan has been prepared by Trustees and our Chief Executive with input and support from
staff in order to provide a road map for the organisation over the next few years, highlighting key areas
for consideration, ways in which the principle themes will develop, and the consequences of such
developments for the organisation in terms of:
- Market analysis
- Financial position
- Big C’s major activity themes and the way forward
- Organisation structure and control
This Plan starts with a reminder of Big C‟s history and a statement of Big C‟s vision, mission and core
1.1 Big C story
Big C is a cancer charity for the people of Norfolk & Waveney. We are local and proudly independent,
formed in 1980 by two young Norfolk men, one of whom remains a Trustee. Having had to travel to
London for cancer treatment, they were determined that others in Norfolk & Waveney should have
access to the very best of treatment and care locally. That dedication is shared today by everyone
connected with Big C. With the help of the local community, we have raised in excess of £14m since our
foundation, all of which has been invested in Norfolk & Waveney.
1.2 Corporate Strategy: vision, mission and core objectives
In early 2009 Trustees adopted the charity‟s first ever Corporate Strategy. This document sets out Big
C‟s vision, mission and four core objectives. These are:
To enable Norfolk & Waveney to be a centre of excellence for the provision of cancer services, and to
contribute to the international reputation for excellence in cancer research locally.
We are dedicated to the fight against cancer and its effect on individuals and their families. To this end
we aim to promote partnerships between statutory, private and voluntary sectors, who together will
develop first class cancer research and services.
Our four core objectives:
Equipment To fund equipment, staff and facilities in support of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Support To develop information and support services for adults, children and their families
affected by cancer.
Care To develop the best possible care for those whose cancer diagnosis offers no long
Research To promote the development of world class cancer research locally.
Trustees have received an assurance from the Charity Commission that all current and planned activities
are covered by existing Charitable Objects. Following this positive response Trustees are giving
consideration to possible amendments to our Memorandum and Articles of Association to cover current
and potential future requirements. Trustees have referred to the Charity Commission‟s general guidance on
public benefit when reviewing the charity‟s objectives and activities and in planning for the future.
2. Market analysis
2.1 Big C’s market position
Big C is unique in that we are a local charity operating in a defined geographical area but across the
broad spectrum of cancer services and research. We are Norfolk & Waveney‟s only cancer charity that is
dedicated to investing only in Norfolk & Waveney.
Independent market research undertaken for Big C in 2008 revealed that we are better known as a
cancer charity than as a local charity and awareness of Big C is greatest in Norwich and lowest in West
Norfolk. The research also highlighted that local awareness of Big C is primarily raised through our shops
and then through coverage in local media.
In response to this research, Trustees are rebranding Big C (with financial support from corporate
donors) with the aim of emphasising our dedication to Norfolk & Waveney. Now branded as “Norfolk &
Waveney‟s Own Cancer Charity” the charity‟s “commercial message” will be consistently and heavily
promoted. Trustees are conscious that Big C is currently competing for a smaller “pot” of donations but
also very much aware that with cancer affecting more and more people‟s lives the need for the services
of our charity will continue to be demonstrated.
2.2 National competition
National cancer charities are our main source of competition for donations made by local people who
wish to support investment in cancer services and research. The combination of high profile brands and
campaigns of the nationals and the public misperception that Big C is a national charity is a cause of
concern to Trustees.
2.3 Current and future needs for Big C’s services
Cancer survival rates are increasing and mortality rates are decreasing. This means that there are more
new diagnoses and more people alive who have had cancer, who will need support more than ever
Between 1985 and 2005 the number of new cancer cases per year in the NHS Norfolk area increased
from 2813 to 3969, an increase of more than 40%. Forecasts suggest that this number will continue to
increase, and at a slightly faster rate. In the 2017-2021 period there may be 5399 new cases per year .
NHS Great Yarmouth & Waveney
Between 1985 and 2005 the number of new cancer cases per year in the NHS Great Yarmouth &
Waveney area increased from 395 to 514, an increase of 30%. In the 2017-2021 period there may be
675 new cancer cases per year .
Population ageing accounts for much of the increase in the number of new cancer cases. The number of
residents in older age groups is increasing, and cancer incidence rates are much higher in such groups.
 (source: EERA population scenario).
3. Financial position
3.1 Performance in last 4 years, income and expenditure
Chart 1: Income by segment
700000 In Memoriam
500000 Trust income
300000 Events and Merchandice
200000 Investment & Other
2005 2006 2007 2008
Chart 2: Expenditure by theme
300000 Care & support
2005 2006 2007 2008
3.2 Income & expenditure 2009-2012
2009 £1.4m £1.3m
2010 £1.8m £1.8m
2011 £2.3m £2.25m
2012 £2.5m £2.5m
Full budgets will be adopted annually and monitored on a monthly basis by Trustees/Executive and
corrective action taken as necessary.
4. Big C’s major activity themes and the way forward
4.1 Fundraising activities
Big C has grown into a successful fundraising charity raising income from the community, corporate
donors and individuals. Income from our retail operations is increasing with expansion into new shops.
The Trustees are mindful that the largest proportion of our income comes from legacies and understand
the risk of reliance on an unpredictable income stream.
Big C has a strong tradition of running community events and initiatives and holds a valued place within
the minds of the local community. This has been evidenced by the continued support Big C has received
despite the economic climate of late 2008 and 2009.
Historically Individual Giving and Legacies (IGL) provides the largest income for Big C, and in 2008 this
amounted to £902,536.
Trusts & Foundations
UK Trusts and Foundations (T&F) support health and social care related charities as the highest
proportion of their spend (35% of their overall giving) and Big C‟s position as a local charity is well
perceived amongst local funding Trusts. Income via T&Fs has the potential to be an exciting area of
Our corporate relationships are necessarily aimed at local businesses. We are well networked amongst
business network groups and Rotary Clubs and have built up a recent history with some large local firms.
In order to raise the profile of the charity and generate additional private sector income, Big C has
developed a retail expansion strategy (designed to increase Big C‟s presence on the high streets of the
county‟s busiest market towns) which will see the purchase of two additional shop leases per year in
relevant market towns across Norfolk & Waveney. Since late 2007 Big C has more than doubled its
portfolio of charity shops and as well as the original two in Norwich city centre, we now have shops in
Beccles, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham.
The charity has leases on premises in Beccles (10 years from 2008), Great Yarmouth (10 years from
2008) and Sheringham (9 years from 2009). Each of these are used as charity shops but were chosen
for their capacity to accommodate an area dedicated to the provision of outreach information and support
The charity‟s record on recent site selection has proved to be good, and we have a Head of Retail and
retail team who, with some additional resources can take considerable advantage of these opportunities.
In terms of income, the objective is that expansion will increase income levels proportionately. Trustees
are keen to investigate ways in which the individual performance of each shop can also be improved.
Big C owns two properties in Norwich, 10a Castle Meadow and 1 Timber Hill. The latter is used entirely
as a charity shop whereas Castle Meadow is home to a charity shop on the ground floor and basement,
and administration on the first and second floors. Whilst these locations have served the charity well
Trustees are conscious that both have their drawbacks as retail premises and that Castle Meadow
cannot accommodate much more expansion for the Executive Team.
Our Chief Executive, Daniel Williams, came to Big C with an experience background in voluntary sector
partnership working with Government agencies, both through housing and young people. With the
commitment within our Corporate Strategy to develop a service delivery portfolio which is responsive to
service users this experience will be essential. Whilst our core objectives of investing in Equipment and
Research will continue to be delivered through third party grant applications, the core objectives of
Support and Care provide the opportunity for Big C, where appropriate, to develop its own service
Where this service delivery is complementary to Government strategy, opportunities for statutory sector
funding exist. Big C recognises that both major political parties are committed to the diversification of
statutory sector service delivery in order to meet the specific needs of local service users. They have
both identified the voluntary sector as playing a key role in the delivery of local services.
Over the last three years Big C has steadily built on its relationships with key local government agencies
which include NHS Norfolk, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, adult and children‟s social services,
public health services and the Anglia Cancer Network. Our charity has a sound understanding of local
commissioning priorities and the processes through which these will be developed and we are engaged
in a number of these pieces of work which have relevance to our own areas of service development.
Working with the Anglia Cancer Network Big C strategy development has been instrumental in securing
£90k funding from the National Cancer Action Team which will run a commissioning exemplar to look at
the supportive requirements of cancer patients across all care settings. Key stakeholders will be the lead
cancer service commissioners from the two Norfolk Primary Care Trusts and a Big C employee will be
seconded to the Anglia Cancer Network for the duration of the project which will commence in Autumn
Big C has taken a pro-active approach to partnership working with our voluntary sector colleagues in
Norfolk and across the Anglia Region. In the summer of 2009 three Anglia cancer charities, Big C,
Wallace Cancer Care (Cambridgeshire) and Cancer Campaign in Suffolk published a joint statement of
intent to work together in responding to the personalisation agenda and sharing service development.
This statement was aimed at key local commissioning bodies in order to highlight our intention and ability
to meet the needs of local service users.
Again in the summer of 2009 Big C joined the Norfolk Specialist Partnership (NSP). NSP consists of
specialist support organisations in Norfolk, established to support frontline agencies to respond more
effectively to the needs of service users, to improve the quality of service design, implementation and
delivery and to develop an effective, forward thinking response to the challenges posed by the radical
transformation of health and social care services
4.2 Charitable activities
Our charitable spending to date has been primarily in equipment, staff and services for the three acute
trusts in Norfolk & Waveney and cancer research being undertaken at the University of East Anglia. We
fund the operational costs for staff and facilities at the NNUHFT based Big C Family Cancer &
Information Centre and also fund a number of additional support services which include counselling,
complementary therapies and welfare rights advice.
In developing Big C‟s Corporate Strategy Trustees agreed that whilst Big C will passionately remain a
fundraising charity, the needs of the community are great across all four areas for investment. It was
therefore agreed that for the benefit of the community and to improve the profile (and therefore reduce
the risks) to the charity Big C will actively seek and investigate opportunities to invest in and, or provide
care and support services. Over the next three years investment in care and support services is intended
to increase the charity‟s investment profile over and above current levels.
With new equipment funded by Big C the new MOHS service at NNUH came second in the East of
England Innovations competition in June 2009. One of the first patients to benefit from the MOHS
technique commented that “I’ve had lots of skin cancers removed over the last 50 years and I can honestly
say that this is the best experience I have had. It’s a great relief to know the tumour has been completely
Big C‟s Equipment Investment Strategy sets out details of how the charity will work towards achieving its
first core objective – being to fund equipment, staff and facilities in support of cancer diagnosis and
treatment in Norfolk & Waveney. Big C will work with relevant health care providers, patients and
statutory commissioners to identify local investment priorities and ensure that any equipment is
sustainable, fully utilised, and that it underpins existing provision. Big C will work closely with local
partners to ensure that there is strategic fit between Big C funding and other sources of funding to these
institutions. Over the next three years we intend to maintain our levels of investment in equipment, staff
and facilities by reacting to local applications for funding.
Examples of investment in equipment staff and facilities:
In 2009 Big C awarded funding to James Paget University Hospital for the purchase of an additional
ultrasound machine which will be used to equip a new purpose built General Medical Ultrasound Room.
This facility will be used to perform urgent scans when there is a suspicion of cancer for patients who
currently have to return at a later date for scan and possible biopsy. This will mean more rapid diagnosis
and thus permit earlier referral for treatment.
In 2008 we awarded funding to support the radiotherapy open evenings held in the Big C Centre and the
Colney Centre at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital on a monthly basis. The evenings are
designed to give information to patients and their relatives or carers in an informal atmosphere and to be
able to show them the equipment that is used to plan and deliver their treatment. It also offers the
opportunity for people to ask questions without feeling that they are taking up valuable time in a clinical
In 2007 Big C supported the purchase of equipment associated with the establishment of a new Mohs
surgery (MMS) service at NNUH. This procedure offers the highest cure rates for treating difficult types of
basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the commonest type skin cancer, because it enables the precise mapping of
tumour location and maximises the preservation of normal tissue and function, improving cosmetic
outcome and simplifying reconstruction. The Cancer Reform Strategy (Dec 2007) stated that Mohs surgery
should be used more in the treatment of patients with skin cancer. Big C’s support makes NNUH the
second hospital in the Eastern region to offer this service for patients with BCC.
Former patient - Craig Kelly says that “When they said I had cancer, I was dumbfounded. [Big C] put me
on the road to recovery, and I met people who had been through more and less than me.” Following a six
hour operation, a 12 day stay in hospital, and 10 months in which he was unable to work or provide for his
wife and children, Craig also says: “They helped me with financial things, helped me to find out what was
available to me, and pointed me in the right direction.‟‟
Under the guidance of our Care & Support Committee, Big C will continue with the development of
detailed plans for the delivery of information and support services. We will work with relevant health care
providers, voluntary sector organisations, patients and statutory commissioners to identify local
investment priorities and ensure that any service is sustainable, fully utilised, and that it underpins
The opening of the Big C Family Cancer & Information Centre in the grounds of the Norfolk & Norwich
University Hospital Trust in May 2006 was the culmination of a three year major fundraising campaign.
The Centre provides an excellent service to the community of Norfolk & Waveney and with an ever
increasing number of visitors has had a significant and positive impact on the profile of Big C and has
continually expanded its work to meet the growing and diverse needs of local cancer patients, their
families and friends. Trustees are determined to build on the success of the Centre and having provided
all funding to date intend to fund its operational costs to 30 April 2010. Big C will look to develop a pilot
initiative, probably to be based in Great Yarmouth, which will bring similar supportive services to those
offered at the NNUH centre to local people in the East of the county. Findings from this pilot will be fully
evaluated before further roll out.
2006 - 2007 2007 - 2008 2008 - 2009
500 Welfare rights
2006 - 2007 2007 - 2008 2008 - 2009
„Our relationships are built on quality of life not quantity. We get to know people really well, and what
they and their families have been through. Bereaved families like the fact that we knew the patient,
remember their good and bad days and have shared in their cancer journey. Carers often haven‟t had
the opportunity to look after themselves, and where appropriate, we can offer massage, reflexology or
our relaxation group. We can provide support such as counselling, but often it‟s our time that‟s
valuable, together with a chat, advice, reassurance, a cup of tea & a relaxed environment. Our door
remains open for the whole family.‟
Jill Chapman, Centre Manager
Also under the guidance of our Care & Support Committee, Big C will develop detailed plans to provide
support for those whose cancer has no long term cure. Big C will liaise with other voluntary sector
organisations, patients, statutory commissioners and providers to identify local investment priorities and
ensure that any service places the patient at the centre of the care process, with care provided at their
place of choice. Big C will seek investment opportunities which will also underpin our support objective
and goals and which cover the breadth of Norfolk & Waveney.
Big C sits on the Marie Curie “Delivering Choice” stakeholder boards for Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and
Waveney. The “Delivering Choice” programme aims to provide real end of life choices for patients and
their families and is jointly sponsored by the NHS and Adult Social Services. Following consultation with
those providing existing services the boards will soon consider how any gaps in these services may be
filled in the future. Big C will be carefully considering the emerging models to see how best to
complement the support we provide to cancer patients and their families and will seek to expand
statutory funding to promote this objective. As a first step Big C will develop a pilot initiative which will
provide bereavement support after an initial assessment by Big C Centre staff.
„I can‟t impress on you enough how much of a lifeline Big C is… funding for the gene profiling
instruments that have led to such international acclaim were all funded by Big C. By funding a
scientist‟s wages Big C fund a skilled scientific brain and many weeks, months or years of hard work
towards understanding cancer. There is a misconception that the government funds research, this is
not the case… this comes from …charities like Big C. Without these grants there would be no labs and
Dr Caroline Pennington - School of Biological Sciences- UEA
Big C‟s Research Investment Strategy sets out details of how the charity will work towards achieving its
fourth core objective – being to promote the development of world class cancer research locally. Big C
will continue to liaise with local research organisations, academics and scientists in order to identify local
investment priorities and ensure that our funding is targeted at the most appropriate projects within the
overall context of research being conducted locally. Over the next three years we intend to maintain our
levels of investment in research by reacting to local applications to funding but would also like to widen
the community of beneficiaries by encouraging appropriate cancer research applications from clinicians
(including GPs) and the Institute of Food Research. We have also made a public commitment to seek
membership of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC).
Examples of investment in research projects and activities:
In 2009 Big C supported a research project at the Institute of Food Research which aims to determine
whether dietary carbohydrates derived from fruit and vegetables can slow down the progression of some
cancers. Natural carbohydrates have the advantage of being non toxic therapies plus the long term
potential of protection in the diet.
In 2008 we funded the appointment of a research technician to look after the operation of the laboratory
where cancer cells are grown and studied at the Biomedical Research Centre (BMRC) at UEA (which was
built in 2005 with funding support from Big C). The lab serves several research groups who are studying
cancer and all of their studies depend crucially on having the very best cell culture conditions, which can
best be achieved by having a dedicated technician to look after the laboratory and all the equipment.
5. Organisation structure and control
The Board of Trustees of Big C is responsible for the overall control of the charity with day to day
responsibility delegated to the Chief Executive, who reports regularly to the Board on all activities. The
Board keeps its Committee structure and terms of reference under review. In 2009 a new Committee
was created which is dedicated to investigating care and support needs and opportunities in Norfolk &
Waveney. The award of the National Cancer Action Team funding was achieved under the guidance and
support of this Committee.
Current trustees of Big C:
Philip Blanchflower (Chairman)
Professor Ann Barrett
Dr Cameron Campbell
Theresa Cossey MBE (Secretary)
Peter Lufkin (Treasurer)
David Moar MBE – founder member
Dr Jennie Wimperis
The current membership of Big C‟s committees is as follows:
Finance & Administration: Mr Philip Blanchflower, Mr Peter Lufkin, Mr Philip Norton (supported by the
Chief Executive and Head of Finance )
Fundraising & Retail: Mrs Theresa Cossey MBE, Mrs Elaine Fisher, Mr Gordon Smart (supported by
the Chief Executive, Head of Commercial and Head of Retail)
Care & Support: Mr Philip Blanchflower, Mr Gordon Smart, Professor Ann Barrett, Mrs Carolyn
Sexton, Mr Alan Stephens (patient representative) (supported by the Chief Executive and Operations
Grants: Mr Peter Lufkin, Dr Jennie Wimperis, Dr Cameron Campbell, Mr David Moar MBE, Mr Athar
Ahmad (QEHKL - clinical advisor), Dr Helen James (UEA School of Biological Sciences - research
advisor), Mr John Studley (JPUH - clinical advisor) (supported by the Chief Executive and Assistant
Big C is also represented on the Management Board of the Big C Family Cancer & Information Centre
where Trustees from Big C sit alongside representatives from NNUH to manage and monitor the work
and development of the Centre. The Chairman of the Centre Management Board is Ann Barrett, a Big C
Trustee who also chairs Big C‟s Care & Support Committee.
Of the current Board, two Trustees have been with the charity since its very early days and the
remainder have joined since the late 1990s. Two trustees recruited in 2008 added significantly to the skill
profile of the Board, bringing senior level cancer care and support experience to the Board. Trustees are
concerned to further enhance the abilities on the Board towards meeting the objectives of our Corporate
Strategy and following the skills audit undertaken in summer 2009 have identified gaps which need to be
filled now and in the future. It is expected that the strategic direction of the charity will, at the least,
require additional charity financial management experience. Trustees are also keen to find ways of
involving patients and support groups in Big C‟s decision making processes and to that end have
included and filled a place for a patient representative in the membership of the Care & Support
Since 2006 Big C has been ably supported by a full time Chief Executive, Daniel Williams. This
appointment marked a shift from leadership with an emphasis on fundraising, to leadership with a focus
on service delivery. A period of greater stability in staff turnover followed and a re-structuring of the
Executive Team, with the senior appointment of a Head of Commercial post at the end of 2008. This has
enabled Trustees to consider Big C‟s future staffing needs in the light of the objectives of the Corporate
Strategy. The appointment of our Head of Retail in 2006 has also served the charity well, with significant
progress being made with our retail expansion programme and other appointments will be considered by
Trustees as and when business volumes dictate. Big C‟s Executive Team (Chief Executive, Head of
Commercial, Head of Finance, Head of Operations, Head of Retail and Assistant Company Secretary)
was established in 2008, and meets monthly to review strategic, operational and management issues. As
our charity grows we will need to ensure sufficient capacity and expertise remains within our Executive
In 2006 Big C was awarded Investors in People accreditation.
5.3 Performance management
Trustees use a number of measures to assess performance. Financial performance is key to the
achievement of our objectives and therefore income and expenditure are monitored on a daily basis
against annual approved budgets. Trustees receive a full bi monthly report on the charity's overall
performance from the Chief Executive, including details of the Executive Team's achievement against the
performance indices set for them. Each of the Committees gives full consideration at every meeting to
performance in those areas for which the Committee is responsible. Minutes of these meetings are
circulated for discussion at Trustee meetings. A staff performance management system is in place which
links employee‟s personal objectives with those of the charity.
Big C‟s volunteers support the charity across a number of functions: retail, office, corporate and
community; and have played a key role in the development and success of Big C. Our current family of
200 + volunteers includes people who have supported Big C for many years. We believe that the wider
the range of people involved with the charity the better we can understand and look after the needs of
the community. We would therefore like the “family” to grow to include more people from all age groups
and backgrounds. Our Commercial Strategy sets out ways in which Trustees intend to extend, support
and celebrate our volunteer family. A particular goal is to establish a governance structure within which
committees of volunteers can be formed and take a coordinating and cohesive approach to community
fundraising initiatives. Service delivery volunteers will also be vital to supporting the achievement of our
goals in this key area of Big C‟s operations.
5.5 IT systems
In 2008 a complete review of the charity‟s IT infrastructure was undertaken. The purchase of the
Progress database was implemented in 2009. A complete review of Big C‟s website and site provider
was undertaken in 2009.
Over the next three years Trustees will be giving consideration to the following initiatives:
Big C lottery
Our full time Individual Giving and Legacies Manager (appointed in 2009) will be dedicated to fundraising
proactively in this area and in 2010 will manage a Big C lottery agency, starting the process of bringing it
in house in 2011.
Trustees will be considering the value and timing of the appointment of a newly created post of Volunteer
Trustees will give consideration in the future as to the best use of both Castle Meadow and Timberhill
Trustees will also give consideration to the creation of a separate trading subsidiary for our retail
operations, taking into account relevant tax issues.
Trustee succession planning
In 2010 Trustees aim to address emerging and potential future skills gaps in the Board through a
succession planning exercise.