Our History

It’s 2023 and we’re celebrating our Ruby Jubilee! 

It’s hard to believe but 40 years on – and some several millions raised over those years  – and we’re still dedicated to improving bowel cancer survival. A lot of progress has been made over these four decades, not least the introduction of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in 2006, a project that we have been very proud to be associated with. We are still supporting projects to improve early detection, treatment and care, as well as working to improve awareness around gut health and the importance of taking part in the screening programme. 

Help us celebrate our Ruby Jubilee by taking part in the many events we will be holding from April (Bowel Cancer Awareness Month) onwards. We are also interested in working with businesses – find out more here.

GUTS was founded in 1983 by Professor Chris Marks who saw that earlier diagnosis was key to improving bowel cancer survival rates. He set up the charity and after a lot of fundraising initiated one of the first bowel cancer mass screening programmes in the UK. In its first year it reached 20,000 patients from 37 GP practices in the Guildford area.


Since then GUTS funding has been pivotal both in research to advance screening and detection, and in improving the care, treatment and outcomes for patients – not just from the Guildford area but from right across the south of England.

Over the years GUTS has raised funds for numerous projects. Before it was replaced with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, the GUTS programme sent out over 50,000 faecal occult blood testing kits across southern England. GUTS-funded research projects published in medical journals have also contributed to a better understanding of colorectal cancer.

How did we do it?

GUTS would never have got off the ground without the incredible support of the local community.
Below are just some of the weird, wonderful and altogether heroic things people have done over the years to raise money for GUTS:

George Michael’s sponsorship of two ex-patients in the 1989 London Marathon gave GUTS  a £20,000 boost.

In 2003, after a night in a pub three men decided to ‘maroon’ themselves on an island on the Wey to raise money for GUTS!

A patient, family and friends take on the Three Peaks Challenge for GUTS in 2013.

Why just run the 2014 Bolt Round the Holt when you could run it dressed as a giant whoopee cushion?

Every year one of our supporters turns her stable manure into donations for GUTS!

Another supporter raises hundreds every year through his popular garden talks to local garden clubs and societies.



If you’d like to get involved in fundraising for GUTS we’d love to hear from you! Use ‘contact us’ in the footer below or call 01483 408316.


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