Fighting Prostate Cancer
Who We Are
The Prostate Project is a registered volunteer-run charity based at The Stokes Centre for Urology, at the Royal Surrey Foundation NHS Trust. Our ambition is to give men a better chance of beating prostate cancer, raising funds for research, diagnosis and ground-breaking treatment. We were established in 1998 by prostate cancer patient Colin Stokes and his consultant urological surgeon, Mr John Davies.
In the past 20 years we have raised over £8 million and helped the Royal Surrey County Hospital achieve ‘Centre of Excellence’ status in the treatment of prostate cancer. We support the Royal Surrey County Hospital, St Luke’s Cancer Centre and Frimley Park Hospital in their efforts to detect and treat prostate cancer. We have provided equipment, specialist nursing staff and run an active patient support group.
The Prostate Project also funds the scientists working at the University of Surrey, supporting their work developing innovative immunotherapy treatments and drugs for men with advanced (metastatic) prostate cancer.
In 2011, the Royal Surrey County Hospital asked us if we could raise £1.3m towards a new landmark Urology Centre. In 2013 they increased that figure to £2m. Thanks to the incredible support, we exceeded that amount and are now equal funding partners with the hospital having raised almost £3m.
This is one of the most significant investments in Urological services in the UK for over a decade, helping to establish the Royal Surrey internationally as a leading prostate cancer centre of excellence, capable of treating more men with early disease than any other unit in the UK.
Our research initiative, launched in 2006 at the University of Surrey, has grown to become the largest charity-funded prostate cancer research group in the UK. Currently 25 strong, the Prostate Project research team are producing results of international importance including the development of antibodies against targets on the surface of prostate cancers, the development of vaccines from the patient’s own immune cells and the use of a potential new marker (EN2) in urine to identify the presence of prostate cancer; the first breakthrough in diagnosis since the 30-year-old PSA blood test currently used to detect prostate cancer. They are currently investigating new techniques to identify and treat advanced prostate cancer using immunotherapy. Currently three quarters of men diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer die within five years.
2023 will see the launch of our most ambitious effort since the Centre opened with the introduction of the ‘Man Van’, a mobile PSA blood testing clinic providing easy access to testing for men across the region. The PSA test is a simple blood test to help detect prostate cancer.
The stark fact is that prostate cancer claims a life every 45 minutes, that’s 12,000 UK men a year, but hope is provided by increasing the awareness of men over the age of 50 that with early diagnosis, prostate cancer is one of the most treatable cancers and this latest initiative will help to ensure even more positive outcomes for men in and around Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire.
The Prostate Project is on a mission to let every son, dad, uncle, brother, grandad and husband know that they need to get tested.
Our Principal Aims & Objectives – Fighting Prostate Cancer
• To raise awareness, particularly amongst men, of the existence of prostate cancer, its symptoms and its potential adverse effect
• To encourage wider recognition of the symptoms of the disease and swifter action in seeking GP’s advice
• To fund state of the art equipment and specialist staff to support Urologists in achieving early diagnosis and rapid treatment
• To push forward the boundaries of knowledge about prostate cancer by initiating a world class programme of research
• Having co-funded the building of a world-class model NHS Stokes Centre for Urology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, to ensure the Centre attracts high calibre specialists and technicians and has the most advanced equipment
Meet Our Ambassadors
Colin established the Prostate Project in 1998 with his consultant urological surgeon, Mr John Davies, after Colin was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 58. With his background working at Unilever and running his own consultancy company, Colin worked tirelessly as a volunteer Chairman for 21 years, overseeing the establishment of the oncology research team at the University of Surrey and building the Stokes Centre for Urology at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Having retired as Chair in 2020, Colin continues to support the charity through his role as Ambassador, reaching out to the local community through talks, presentations and interviews. Colin was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Surrey and an MBE for services to cancer patients.
Meet Our Trustees
Alf first became involved with the Prostate Project when he was Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Surrey County Hospital and was responsible for the business case and building of the Stokes Centre for Urology. He was always impressed by the dedication, focus and sheer hard work of the charity, it’s trustees and members. As the Prostate Project funded half the cost of the building Alf attended many of the committee meetings and they got him hooked. When the building was finished Alf became a Trustee and replaced co-founder Colin Stokes as Chair in April 2020. Alf is also the Managing Director of Healthcare Partners, a subsidiary of the Royal Surrey, but will retire from this permanent job in December 2021 when he can devote even more time to the charity. Alf lives in Lightwater in Surrey with his wife Sarah and they have 4 grown up boys between them. The Prostate Project is a great organisation and is rightly proud of what it has achieved since 2008. Alf’s job as Chair is to continue and build on this work with new and exciting fund raising projects to help give men a better chance of beating prostate cancer. Excellent governance and control of costs are key so the charity can max out their fundraising into practical projects.
Tim Sharp is one of the founding trustees of the Prostate Project. He is married with 3 children and has lived locally for almost 50 years. A lifelong career in advertising has equipped him to handle all of the charity’s publicity and PR from day one. He conceived and ran all the appeals that have helped raise over £10m since 1998. He relinquished his active publicity role in March 2020 but remains a trustee and the charity’s President. His wife Valerie, has been a volunteer for Save the Children for over 30 years.
One of his daughters is the actress Victoria Hamilton who played the Queen Mother in the Netflix Series 1 production of ‘The Crown’. She is a patron of the Prostate Project.
Meet Our Patrons
Meet Our Team
Katherine Hammersley supports the Prostate Project as the charity secretary, alongside looking after volunteers, fundraising and events and managing the website and social media. She gave vital support to Tim Sharp’s fundraising appeals for building the Stokes Centre for Urology and OctoBeardFest. Katherine lives in Guildford and is also a community governor at a local Guildford primary school.
We collaborate with local and national businesses, the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Frimley Park Hospital and University of Surrey to give every man a better chance of beating prostate cancer.