Researching the cures


PCRF wind down – your questions answered

Q: Why not recruit a new CEO to enable PCRF to continue?
Current CEO Maggie Blanks and the PCRF Trustees gave a great deal of thought to this as one of the options for the charity’s future. But as some of you know, the running costs of the charity have been kept to an absolute minimum by Maggie providing an office in her home and running operations with minimal admin support.

The recruitment of a new CEO, plus admin support, and the subsequent setting up and formalising of new premises from which they could run the charity would cost a significant amount of money – money that could be better used in funding research.

In considering options for the charity’s future, Maggie’s retirement was an opportune time to ask the question whether PCRF needs to continue as a separate charity, given the existence of other charities focusing on pancreatic cancer. Maggie and the Trustees concluded that redirecting PCRF supporters to Pancreatic Cancer UK would create even more opportunities for funding research, and be more efficient by avoiding any potential overlap in activities.

Q: Why is PCRF winding down rather than merging with another charity?
Formal mergers require complicated and costly legal work. As PCRF has no other employees and their future security to consider, we felt it was not a particularly appropriate option. In addition, our own charity status is to be retained as we will continue to administer the grants already awarded to ongoing research projects. 

Q: Why are you asking us to consider supporting Pancreatic Cancer UK once PCRF has wound down?
There is absolutely no pressure to fundraise for any other charity, but we sincerely hope that those who wish to continue to support the cause – and there is still much to do to beat this cancer – will choose to support Pancreatic Cancer UK for the following reasons:

  • By directing your enthusiasm, dedication and commitment for fundraising to Pancreatic Cancer UK, this will enable a greater programme of research to happen. This not only means more research, but also potentially more ambitious projects and opportunities that may not have been affordable to either charity on its own.
  • Already funding academic and clinical research, Pancreatic Cancer UK has an excellent and comprehensive infrastructure in place, including an expert scientific advisory panel and a dedicated research management team.
  • Pancreatic Cancer UK’s new 5-year research strategy builds on the £12 million investment it has already made in groundbreaking research, with a commitment to increasing investment in research each year. Pancreatic Cancer UK will also lobby for more government money – at least £35 million each year – to be spent on pancreatic cancer research in the UK.

There are of course other charities that do valuable work that have a focus on pancreatic cancer, for example Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA), which promotes symptom awareness and does great work across the UK. PCA would welcome any donations/fundraising too.

Q: What will happen to donations received by PCRF before April 2024?
Money received between now and the end of April 2024 will contribute to the 2023 research projects and the PCRF Tissue Bank as it transitions to becoming self-funding.

Q: What will happen with the PCRF-funded research projects that aren’t completed yet?
Maggie will be continuing to administer the grants, ensuring that milestones are met and that final reports at the end of projects are submitted. She will also ensure that research results are shared across the global pancreatic cancer research community through publication in peer-reviewed journals and through conference presentations as appropriate.

Q: How will we find out about the outcome of PCRF-funded research that is still ongoing?
Maggie will encourage PCRF-funded researchers to share their project outcomes through news releases produced by their in-house media teams, and we will add news items onto the PCRF web pages.

Q: If I fundraise for Pancreatic Cancer UK, can I specify that my donation is used only for research?
Yes. It is possible to restrict your donation to be used only for research.

You simply need to inform PCUK as early as possible – ideally when you’re planning to fundraise – that it is your intention to restrict the donation for research.

You can email their Supporter Care team on or phone them on 020 3535 7090 (option 2) to discuss how this can be arranged.

Q: Will you be removed from the Charity Commission register?
No. We will retain our charity status which allows us to continue to fund the live research projects and the Tissue bank – and to accept any future legacies (see below).

Q: What happens to legacies earmarked for PCRF in wills?
Because PCRF will retain its registered charity status, any legacies that become enacted for the foreseeable future can be passed to PCRF as intended. There is no need to make any amendments to your will.

These legacies will be used to continue the funding of the PCRF Tissue Bank.

Q: I have a direct debit/standing order for a regular donation to PCRF. What should I do?
By the end of April 2024 you will need to have cancelled your regular donation to PCRF. We encourage you to consider setting up a fresh arrangement with Pancreatic Cancer UK.

If you are a regular donor, PCRF CEO Maggie Blanks will be contacting you individually in due course to give you further information about this.

Q: Will we still be able to contact Maggie or PCRF if we need to?
Yes, you can contact Maggie on   / 020 8360 1119