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Posted by Target Ovarian Cancer on Thursday 29 July 2010

As a direct result of the Target Ovarian Cancer Parliamentary Reception, launching the 'six simple steps' campaign a month ago, a group of cross-party MPs have now set up a group within Parliament to ensure ovarian cancer is firmly on the political map.

All Party Parliamentary Groups cover a vast range of subjects, and how often they meet and what they do depends on the members. Whilst a few can be more light hearted in tone, others such as the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer can be highly effective and influential.

Russell Brown MP, a supporter of Target Ovarian Cancer, and Sharon Hodgson MP who hosted our recent reception were both keen to see such a group set up. "We were delighted at the response when we asked MPs at the reception to consider signing up - indeed we met the minimum required number of 20 MPs, 10 of which are from the governing coalition, and 10 from the opposition at the reception itself. Our request for other interested MPs went out, just as the six simple steps booklets landed on MPs' desks, and even more have now come forward. Having Target Ovarian Cancer's support in terms of administering the group, organising events, and hosting a web page for us will help to make it a really focused dynamic group."

Target Ovarian Cancer's Director of Public Affairs, Frances Reid, is thrilled at this development: "This is a really important step forward in ensuring ovarian cancer has a high profile in parliament - to make sure that progress is achieved swiftly and effectively. We are also delighted as it shows the impact of women telling their own story. Not only does the group include a GP, an MP with ovarian cancer, other MPs who have family members affected by ovarian cancer, and members of the Health Select Committee, but also MPs who came to our reception and spent quite some considerable time talking to their constituents about being diagnosed with, treated for and living with ovarian cancer.

The group held their inaugural Annual General Meeting on 19th July in Parliament at which the following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Sharon Hodgson MP
  • Vice Chairs:
    • Lord Clement Jones
    • Tim Farron MP
    • David Amess MP
  • Treasurer: Russell Brown MP

Secretariat role will be carried out by Target Ovarian Cancer

Over the course of the summer, a web page will be set up, and a programme of activities for the forthcoming year agreed.