Changing lives, engaging black African and black Caribbean men affected by prostate cancer

Project Background

“Changing lives, engaging black African and black Caribbean men at risk of or affected by prostate cancer” was a three-year project funded by the Big Lottery Fund – Reaching Communities Programme. The aim of the project was to raise awareness of prostate cancer amongst black African and black Caribbean men and disadvantaged communities and to develop support services for those affected by this cancer.

The successful project was delivered across the seven London boroughs of Brent, Lambeth, Newham, Hackney, Lewisham, Southwark and Tower Hamlets between January 2017 and January 2020, as part of Orchid’s strategy for enabling men from marginalised and seldom seen, seldom heard communities at high risk of prostate cancer to overcome the barriers to engaging with this disease.

Orchid commissioned an independent evaluation of this project which can be downloaded here or you can ask for a copy.


Original Project Aims

Over 49,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK and there are 11,500 deaths from this disease annually. 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives and are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men, who have a 1 in 8 chance of getting this disease (Prostate Cancer UK). But only 14% of black men are aware of their higher risk compared to 54% among white men. By raising awareness of this disease and educating men and their loved ones about risk factors, signs and symptoms, treatment options, dealing with aftercare issues and about the information and support services available, our aim through this project was to make a real difference.

The three year project aimed to deliver:

  • Focused information Roadshows in these boroughs to raise awareness of this cancer amongst black African and black Caribbean men and their families
  • A series of talks and presentations in community settings
  • Free specialist information and awareness materials designed to meet the needs of the community i.e. Information Standards accredited prostate cancer leaflets and booklets for black men
  • Facilitated support groups and meetings in the seven London boroughs

The key objectives of this project were to:

  • Increase understanding about prostate cancer amongst black African and black Caribbean men and their loved ones
  • Raise awareness amongst this community about their increased risk levels, risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, available treatments and aftercare.
  • Encourage men to seek early medical help or advice
  • Provide specialist information material for these men, their families and friends, carers and the wider black community.
  • Provide specialist support to men affected by the disease to ensure they feel less isolated following their diagnosis, when undergoing treatment or dealing with the consequences of this cancer
  • Equipping health care professionals to better understand the information and support needs of black African and black Caribbean men, through training and information


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