Evidence and impact

At Penny Brohn UK, we are committed to delivering services that are high quality and make a meaningful difference to people’s lives. We do this through the work of our Evaluation, Evidence and Insight team.


The primary purpose of the team’s work is to evaluate Penny Brohn UK’s services using rigorous and objective data collection methods. We use this data to help us understand the needs and experiences of our clients and to understand the impact our services have on people’s health and wellbeing. The Evaluation, Evidence and Insight team also work closely with the Services team to develop new services and improve existing ones.

Our evaluation data has consistently shown that Penny Brohn UK’s services can:

    • Improve people’s overall wellbeing
    • Reduce the severity of people’s cancer-related concerns
    • Help people feel more in control of their health and wellbeing
    • Give people a better understanding of the many things they can do to support their health and wellbeing
    • Foster connections with peers
    • Motivate and support people to make lifestyle changes such as improvements to diet, taking more exercise and using self-help techniques to aid relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety
    • Help people feel supported and cared for
Ticking a survey

Our evaluation work is often presented at healthcare conferences or published in healthcare or integrative medicine journals. If you’d like to read more about the impact of our services, you can see a full list of our evaluation publications here.

You can also read client quotes and see relevant statistics associated with each of our services on our services booking pages.


We aim to offer access to up-to-date, balanced and consistent information about personalized cancer support options. We are currently working on building capacity in our evidence area so that we can provide more evidence-based resources in a range of formats to meet different people’s needs.

A group of people working together on a project


We are committed to improving our knowledge and understanding of the needs of people affected by cancer and how we can develop services that best support them – putting the voices of people affected by cancer at the centre of all that we do. One of the ways we are doing this is by embedding the concept of co-production across Penny Brohn UK.

By better understanding the needs of people with lived experience of cancer, we can develop, design and improve our products, services and communication to make greater impact on their lives. Co-production can also help to challenge the idea that people with lived experience (typically service users) can’t participate on an equal level with people in professional roles. It can be an extremely effective way for those with lived experience to be able to influence change. It is also a key part of our Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI).


How we include people with cancer

We have recently established a Penny Brohn UK Client Voice Group, led by a volunteer Client Voice Lead. The group is for anyone affected by cancer – including people who may not have used our services. We want the group to include people from many different backgrounds so that we hear a range of voices. If you are interested in joining the Client Voice Group or would like to find out more, please contact maddi.gardner@pennybrohn.org.uk

How we support research

At Penny Brohn UK, we understand the importance of good quality research in improving the experiences and outcomes of people affected by cancer. This is why we support researchers at academic institutions all over the UK in recruiting participants for their studies. Our Evaluation, Evidence and Insight team check that all the research we promote is associated with a reputable institution, has received approval from an ethics committee, and fits with the ethos of Penny Brohn UK. If you are a researcher looking for help recruiting for a study, please contact research@pennybrohn.org.uk.

Contact us

If you want to find out more about the work of our Evaluation, Evidence and Insight team, including how we evaluate our services, the impact of Penny Brohn UK’s services, or opportunities for collaboration, please contact research@pennybrohn.org.uk.

You can follow our Evaluation, Evidence and Insight team on Twitter at @RE_PBUK or email them at research@pennybrohn.org.uk.

Meet the team

Rachel Johnson, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Evaluation, Evidence & Insight Lead

Having completed her Masters in Social and Organisational Psychology at the University of Exeter, Rachel first joined Penny Brohn UK in 2011 writing evidence-based resources on integrative approaches to cancer care. Rachel has extensive experience and training in research and evaluation methodologies, questionnaire design and evidence-based medicine. She has also worked as a freelance evaluation consultant on social prescribing projects and authored evidence summaries for the internationally recognised CAM Cancer database.

Rachel now leads the Evaluation, Evidence & Insight area of the charity – making sure that our services are robustly evaluated and putting the voice of the client at the heart of everything we do. Rachel is passionate about using data and insight to increase our reach, identifying the interventions that are most effective, and demonstrating the impact of our services to funders and supporters.

Maddi Gardner

Client Voice Lead

Maddi joined Penny Brohn UK in 2023 in a new volunteer role as Client Voice Lead. This role focuses on expanding the opportunities for clients to share their thoughts and experiences about Penny Brohn UK and developing new ways of working more closely together to learn and share what is working well (or not so well!). Maddi is passionate about supporting clients to shape and develop current and future services and enable others to find out how an integrative approach, in addition to NHS treatment, can support and nourish them during a cancer diagnosis and beyond.

Sarah Wilkie-Ryan MSc, BSc (Hons)

Evaluation officer

Sarah recently joined the Evaluation, Evidence & Insight Team as Evaluation Officer, a role she combines with her PhD in Digital Health. Sarah is currently working towards qualification as a Health Psychologist. She is passionate about using data to provide insight into service users and improve access to services. Every cancer journey is different, and it is vital to ensure that our services meet the needs of our diverse users, who have access to up-to-date information and resources to improve overall wellbeing.

Emma Hazelwood MSc, BSc (Hons)

Information and Resources Officer

Emma joined Penny Brohn UK as Information and Resources Officer in 2023, alongside completing her PhD in Integrative Cancer Epidemiology at the University of Bristol. Emma’s role is within the Evaluation, Evidence & Insight team. She is involved in auditing and organising Penny Brohn UK’s wide range of resources, both online and in the library at the National Centre. Emma is passionate about taking an evidence-based, holistic approach to best support our clients.