Press releases

Legal & General partners with Cancer Research UK

Supporting the life-saving work of Cancer Research UK with a digital-first offering

14 Feb 2022

Full press release

During the Covid-19 pandemic, cancer services have suffered. There were over 380,000 fewer urgent suspected cancer referrals in the UK1.between March 2020 and March 2021, compared to pre-pandemic, and nearly 45,000 fewer patients starting their cancer treatment in the UK in April 2020-March 2021 compared with pre-pandemic2.

Legal & General has a responsibility to help people throughout society, and partnering with charities like Cancer Research UK is one way we are supporting our customers and communities.

With the right education and support, we can catch cancer early and save lives. During the pandemic, we backed the NHS’ call for people experiencing symptoms of critical illness such as cancer to seek medical advice.

The partnership

Cancer Research UK is the leading UK charitable provider of digital cancer information. They have a comprehensive About Cancer website, supported by a Cancer Chat forum and Nurse Helpline. Legal & General has helped to fund the Nurse Helpline, where people affected by cancer, or those who are supporting someone close to them with cancer, can access information directly from a team of specialist nurses.


These three services have helped millions of people already, with more than 18,000 new Cancer Chat members and over 29m users for About Cancer in 2020/21. Every year the Nurse Helpline responds to between 14,000 and 16,000 queries.

 Feedback from a recent survey of the Nurse Helpline has shown:

  • 97% of respondents are satisfied with their experience of the Nurse Helpline
  • 98% of respondents found their call with the Helpline nurse useful
  • 86% of respondents said their understanding of their situation had improved as a result of the call

1 CRUK estimate based on England and Wales trends from Cancer Waiting Times data. 
2 Pre-pandemic refers to the same months in 2019, and figures have been adjusted for working days where appropriate.
3 Legal & General’s statistics show that 41% fewer policyholders claimed on their critical illness insurance in April 2020 than the typical figure of around 300 claims a month.

Jack Roper, Group Head of Sustainability, Legal & General: “At Legal & General, we want to improve people’s lives, and helping Cancer Research UK to carry out their vital work is a great way to do that. It’s a privilege to work with them to help people affected by cancer and by the impact that Covid-19 has had on cancer services. We saw a dramatic fall in policyholders claiming on critical illness insurance at the beginning of the pandemic3, and we want to ensure anyone who needs medical help, and our support, is getting what they need.”
Martin Ledwick, Head Information Nurse at Cancer Research UK: “The nurses on Cancer Research UK’s helpline listen to thousands of people every year and give much needed information and support. Cancer Research UK couldn’t provide this much needed service without donations from individuals and companies like Legal & General and we are incredibly grateful for the continued support that we receive.”

Further information

Millie Hyde Smith.jpg

Millie Hyde-Smith

Director of PR and Content

Legal & General Retail

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management1 of which 40% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.

1Data as at 31 December 2023.