FACT: Primula's £100,000 Gift Ignites Hope at the Heart of Cancer Support - Primula
Aug 29, 2023

FACT: Primula's £100,000 Gift Ignites Hope at the Heart of Cancer Support

Primula Cheese is owned by the Kavli Trust, a charitable foundation. We donate all profits to good causes, and every year we aim to make a difference, particularly to those making a positive change in our local community.

In 2014, Primula Cheese donated £100,000 to FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together). The charity was thrilled about the donation, and our funding helped kickstart their mission to build a support and education centre. Primula has followed and supported FACT’s journey ever since, from hosting and sponsoring coffee mornings, attending balls and supporting FACT appeals. Recently, the Primula team caught up with FACT’s founder and CEO, Joanne Smith, at the new site where the FACT centre is being built and designed. Continue reading to get the whole story.


Meet Joanne, a resilient fighter who received her breast cancer diagnosis in 2005 at just 34 years old. Amidst the emotional turmoil of her treatment journey, Joanne noticed a crucial missing piece in the puzzle - support beyond the clinical realm. While she received excellent medical care, her family's emotional burden and the challenges of day-to-day life remained unaddressed. Watching her loved ones cope with worry and hurt on their faces was harder for her to bear than the treatments themselves.

Joanne, CEO and Founder of FACT

As Joanne completed her treatment, she set up a voluntary group, which soon became known as FACT (Fighting All Cancers Together). Her vision was clear - to provide comprehensive support for patients and their families, friends, and caregivers. This all-encompassing approach recognises that each person's cancer journey is unique, with varying clinical, emotional, and practical needs.

However, FACT soon discovered a gaping void in the North-East when it came to non-clinical cancer services. National charities focused on larger cities, leaving many communities under-served. And while some services existed, they often fell short, acting as mere band-aids rather than actual support systems for those grappling with the complexities of a cancer diagnosis.

Determined to bridge this gap, FACT shifted its focus from solely signposting to becoming an active provider of much-needed services. Over the past 15 years, FACT has grown exponentially while always keeping sight of its core values - seeing each person as an individual, tailoring support to their unique needs, and remaining with them for as long as required.

FACT's dedication ventures into schools, colleges, and businesses, spreading cancer prevention, awareness, and education. To sustain these vital efforts, FACT undertook an ambitious project to create a centre that will offer emotional support and other services to people with cancer, with an estimated value of £1.25 million.

FACT new building

Extending its arms wide, the new FACT Centre will offer diverse services to provide emotional support for people with cancer and their families. Support groups, fitness sessions, counselling, wig services, and nutritional support all find a home within FACT's new centre's warm and welcoming walls. It is a place where those with cancer and their loved ones can access any service they need or simply stop by for a comforting cuppa and a chat.

The journey to bring this dream to life has been riddled with challenges, but FACT's tenacity has been unwavering. A significant boost came early on with a generous donation from Primula Cheese, a beacon of support that ignited hope in the hearts of the FACT team. Joanne commented, “Looking back to the £100,000 that Primula donated in the very early days of the concept of the centre, having this donation gave others the confidence to join the mission to create this unique and groundbreaking centre.”

FACT volunteers helping clean and build the site that will be FACT's new centre.

Recently, the Primula team had the pleasure of visiting the building site with Joanne, where the team were shown where the FACT Centre will blossom into a place of community and trust for people with cancer and their loved ones. The FACT team, volunteers and builders are excited and determined to make this dream a reality despite challenges in the local area.

Joanne (left) and the Primula Cheese team.

Yet, the Centre's opening coincides with challenging financial times. With the pandemic's impact and shifting work dynamics, traditional funding sources have dwindled, even as the demand for FACT's services soar.

The need for help has never been greater, but FACT continues to embrace its Together ethos. They rely on the support of a caring community, and there are endless ways for individuals and businesses to contribute. From monthly donations to volunteering, from donating essential items to spreading FACT's message, every act of kindness strengthens this lifeline for those battling cancer.

FACT's journey is a testament to the power of one individual's determination and compassion, evolving into a united force Fighting All Cancers Together. They stand tall as a beacon of hope, proving that the strength of the community can overcome any challenge. So, if you wonder how to make a difference, remember that the smallest gesture can go a long way. Embrace the spirit of FACT, and together, let's light up lives with hope and support in the face of cancer.

Thank you for reading our news. For more information on FACT, please visit their website, where you can learn more about their story, volunteering, and other ways you can get involved. For more information on charities and good causes Primula has supported, see the rest of our news page. To find out more about Kavli Trust, visit their website here.

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