Who are The Swallows?

We chose the name ‘The Swallows’ because many head and neck cancer patients have problems with swallowing, during and following treatment.

We are the patient and carers Head and Neck Cancer Support Group Charity based in the UK but now reach out to all other parts of the globe.

We offer our Patient/Carer support line 24/7 and will signpost if that’s what people want. The Charity is run by patients, carers, family and friends, so everyone understands the problems when you are diagnosed with Head & Neck Cancer.

How did it all start?

In 2010 a small group of patients started to meet to discuss how they were dealing with any issues and to share stories. A lovely lady called Wendy Hepworth (patient) led the group with the help of Jo Ashton, Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Blackpool ENT department.

Then early in 2011, with the help and vision of Chris Curtis the group achieved full-charity status.

The charity will be forever grateful for the initial foresight and work Wendy and Jo put in during 2010 to get the group started.

It is important to say that while the charity now helps with Awareness, Signposting, Campaigns, Research and Fundraising it will never lose the reason it all started in 2010 and that is “Supporting patients and carers locally, nationally and now throughout the globe.

Our patient and carers meeting is held every second Wednesday of the month. It is an opportunity to meet other like- minded people and share experiences.

What do we do?

- Help each other and anyone else who is affected, directly or indirectly, by Head & Neck Cancer

- One to one or group support

- Be available in Clinics to help patients and carers

- Advise on locating reliable literature, information and locally available resources

- Signpost links to other groups in different areas and recommend trusted websites for people at home

- Raise funds for items to help both patients and carers

- 24/7 help line answered by patients and carers, offering a like-minded person to talk to

Queen's top honour for The Swallows Head & Neck Cancer Charity

The Swallows Head and Neck Cancer Support Group are proud to announce that they were awarded “The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (MBE)”, the highest honour for Voluntary Groups.

This award is a tribute to a great team of past and present volunteers, trustees and patrons who have given support to those affected by head and neck cancer here in Blackpool, the Fylde and across the UK.


Chris Curtis, Chairman

The Swallows Head & Neck Support Group Charity