International Women’s Day Q&A with Melanoma UK Founder Gill Nuttall

4 min read
International Women’s Day Q&A with Melanoma UK Founder Gill Nuttall
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Tell us about yourself in a few sentences.

I’m Gill Nuttall, mother of two humans and two fur things and grandma to five little ones. When I get spare time, it will be spent in the gym or with the family and the dogs. I am, and always will be, a glass almost full type of person.    

What were you doing before you started Melanoma UK?

Before starting Melanoma UK, I worked in law. I had worked in the legal profession for many years and for the last ten years of my legal career, I was head of PR and marketing for a large law firm in Greater Manchester.   

How did you arrive at starting Melanoma UK?

In 2002 a family friend, Jon Herron, was diagnosed with melanoma. In 2006 he discovered the melanoma had returned and by 2007 he had advanced melanoma. Sadly, back then, there were very few options for the treatment of advanced melanoma - something that both Jon and I felt a deep sense of frustration about. Also, there seemed very little support for melanoma patients. Once I realised that Jon was not going to survive, I decided that I would do something to raise awareness of melanoma and make the lives of future patients somewhat easier.  

Is it hard to separate the tragedy from your day-to-day? 

I think every time I speak to a patient or a family member who is affected by this disease, it takes me back to the days when Jon was still here. So, whilst these days, and with the passage of time, it isn’t hard to separate things, there will always be ‘that’ patient who reminds me of him and his situation.  

How many people work at Melanoma UK?

Just the four of us, plus a big army of wonderful volunteers and supporters. We are a small but mighty team.   

Is Melanoma UK a not for profit, foundation, or volunteer-run organisation? 

Melanoma UK is a registered charity in England & Wales. 

Tell us about the impact your organisation has made. 

In terms of patient support, Melanoma UK has made a very positive impact. There are many examples, but if we take just one: there had been an appraisal of a new treatment that had shown enormous promise for patients with advanced disease. Following patient involvement and representation from Melanoma UK, the treatment was approved for use which, back then (2011), was the beginning of some great changes for treatment in advanced melanoma. The organisation was formally registered in 2012 but had been running part time since 2008.  

How do you get funding to pursue your mission and vision?

Hard work! Melanoma UK does not receive any Government or agency funding, so every penny that we receive is donated by our amazing fundraisers, supporters and charity partners. 

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