“Marcella brings out our hidden talents. She doesn’t realise the depth of the difference she makes.”

2023 Community Awards Finalist – Marcella Turner

Marcella founded Can-Survive UK (Support & information for people with cancer) from her home in 2016 with a phone, laptop and unbounded passion to provide culturally appropriate support to Black people and other minority communities affected by cancer.

Having been heavily involved in the end-of-life care for her father, who died from prostate cancer, she was determined to address the lack of culturally appropriate support services for Black African, Black Caribbean and other culturally diverse community members.

“I can’t praise CSUK enough. I don’t know how Marcella does it – I’d do anything for her. She goes beyond the call of duty.”

Can-Survive UK provides an array of services, including men and women’s support groups, yoga, walking groups, creative activities (with an exhibition hosted by the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester), counselling, cancer workshops and a team of service users who raise awareness in local communities as community-champions.

“She’s constant, she’s consistent. I know that if I don’t speak to anyone all week, I will hear from the What’s App group and Marcella – saying just seeing if you’re all right.”

Can-survive UK has directly supported more than 200 people through men and women’s support groups, 1:1 support, creative activities and cancer-awareness workshops. The organisation has delivered cultural competency training to Macmillan, Maggie’s Centre, Being There and Greater Manchester Mental Health Service.

“If it was not for Can-Survive, I would not have survived. Difference between life and death. Marcella would ask was I coming to the group, did I need a taxi, was I warm enough, did I need a lift home?”

In just 6 years, Can-Survive UK has become the ‘go to’ cancer organisation for collaboration on culturally appropriate provision and research focusing on health inequalities. But more than that, Marcella has built a community that she serves personally.

This inspiring woman will be sharing her story with us at the 31st annual Inspiring Women Awards on 19/05/2023.