Foreign Sisters was founded by Lady Palumbo in 2007 under the umbrella of Cancer Research UK’s National Events Committee. The objective of the group is to mobilize a dynamic and powerful group – high-profile foreign women in the UK – to increase awareness of the work and international standing of Cancer Research UK, and to support the outstanding and vital work of its scientists and doctors. Over the past ten years, Foreign Sisters has raised over £1.4 million for Cancer Research UK through an annual luncheon attended by women from over 60 countries based or living in London. Their greatest achievement has been raising £1million since 2012 for the Francis Crick Institute, a brand new biomedical research institute opened last summer in King’s Cross, where the Foreign Sisters have been able to fund a laboratory of their own.



Lunch 2007: River Café 87 people, 27 nationalities

Lunch 2008: Nobu Berkeley 156 people, 51 nationalities

Lunch 2009: Private home 90 people, 32 nationalities

Lunch 2010: Bluebird Café 150 people, 50 nationalities

Lunch 2011: The Savoy 380 people, 59 nationalities

Lunch 2012: The Dorchester 360 people, 60 nationalities

Lunch 2013: The Dorchester 360 people, 66 nationalities

Lunch 2014: Phillips, Howick Place 400 people, 60 nationalities

Lunch 2015: Royal Opera House, 369, 58 nationalities

10th Anniversary Celebration Dinner 2016: Banqueting House, 348 people, 60 nationalities

The National Events Committee was formed by Jennifer d’Abo in 1993 at the instigation of Sir Angus Ogilvy, President of Imperial Cancer Research Fund.  The Committee was chaired by Polly Wood MBE from 2000 to 2011 and the current chair is Tania Bryer.  The objectives of the Committee are to increase awareness of the work and international standing of CRUK and its funding needs, to raise money particularly through high profile events, and to recruit support in new constituencies.

“Our events are uplifting, unique and high profile with one universal goal… to raise much needed funds to fight this dreadful disease that takes our loved ones from us. Please join us in helping Cancer Research UK beat cancer. Together we can do it”.
Tania Bryer, Chairman, National Events Committee

About Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. The charity’s groundbreaking work in finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer has saved millions of lives. Sadly, more than one in three of us will get cancer at some point. It’s vital that research continues so that many more lives can be saved.

Cancer Research UK supports the work of more than 4,000 researchers, doctors and nurses throughout the UK, fighting cancer on all fronts. Every day, their researchers make cutting-edge discoveries in the laboratory, and their doctors and nurses pioneer new treatments with patients in hospitals.
They run high-profile health awareness campaigns and provide clear information to help people understand more about cancer and the steps everyone can take to reduce their risk of developing the disease. They also lobby the government to make sure cancer stays at the top of the political agenda.
Cancer Research UK’s work has helped transform the way cancer is prevented, diagnosed and treated today. Survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years, and many thousands of new cases of the disease have been prevented.

The charity receives no government funding for its research – the life-saving work of the many researchers, doctors and nurses depends entirely upon the generosity and support of the general public.

About the Lily of the Valley

The Lily of the Valley is the emblem of the Foreign Sisters. This May flower represents the renewed hope that Cancer Research UK offers each time a breakthrough is achieved, and symbolises the friendship and community of Foreign Sisters.