Donate to the Ben Walton Trust through our justgiving page

News and Events

Newsletter, April 2017

Published 27 April 2017

I now have to report that Ben’s Trust, as we know it, is to end, as I am no longer able to give it the time and energy it deserves. I retire as soon as I have concluded what happens next. What I want to do here is to highlight a few of the most important events, and to thank from the bottom of my heart all those people who have given time, energy, commitment and donations. None of this could have happened without you.

Download the full Trust newsletter PDF

Anyone wishing to Donate to The Trust should now make donations to:
The Ben Walton oral cancer fund.
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow,
232-242 St Vincent St, Glasgow G2 5RJ. 0141 221 6072
Registered Charity SC000847


Published 27 April 2017

Many thanks for the two recent donations to The Trust from BSDHT (who have been wonderful supporters and well placed to detect early stage cancers).

BSDHT BDHA Southern Group: £150.00

Scottish Group of BSDHT: £254.40

Walton Walk

Published 5 September 2016

Walton Walk

A huge thank you to Team Vermilion. Last year they climbed 'A Ben for Ben' which resulted in their sponsoring our 'Dinner with a Difference' cookbook (available as a PDF to download on our website). The photograph shows Team Vermilion about to embark on their 12 mile 'Walton Walk' through the Pentlands to Balerno to raise funds for mouth cancer.

Myra Owen

Published 21 June 2016

Myra Owen

Myra Owen lives in the Scottish Borders and is running 100 miles for The Trust in organised events over a year.

So far she has completed the Liverpool half marathon; the Lasswade 10 miler; the Edinburgh 10 miler; the Galashiels 10K; and the Penicuick 10K. Coming up are the great North Run and the Forth Road Bridge run.

Not bad for someone to whom running did not come easily. Myra had to learn to run in the 90s; she has found running in a group an enjoyable social event. Please give Myra your support, and thank you Myra for raising awareness of mouth cancer.

Myra Owen's justgiving page

Vermilion are doing the ‘Walton Walk’

Published 6 June 2016

Dundee cheque

Vermilion successfully climbed Ben Lomond in the summer of 2015 raising £5,000 for The Ben Walton Trust.

This year on Friday 12th August the Vermilion team – comprising dentists, nurses and admin support will be trekking 12 miles, starting in Ben’s home town of West Linton, through the Pentland hills to Balerno to raise another £5000 or more for The Trust. You can support and motivate the team by donating at Vermilion justgiving page

Vermilion, 24 St Johns Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6NZ; e-mail:

the global oral cancer forum

Published 22 Feb 2016

The global oral cancer forum will take place in New York, 4th-5th March, to examine "Challenges in the burden of Oral Cancer: Progress in Early Diagnosis and Prevention". Mike Walton will give a brief introduction to the work of The Trust and serve as a panel member in the group that examines "Empowering the public to drive policy development". Please download some of his thoughts on the matter. You can also download the BWT generic handout.

This is the first large scale international forum to share knowledge in order to reduce the burden of oral cancer and is part of a continuing collaboration.

Dundee Dental Students do it again

Published 22 Feb 2016

Dundee cheque

Dundee Dental students presenting a cheque to The Trust, something they have done annually almost since the Trust was first set up. They and other dental students have been involved in supporting all the projects we have been involved in.

Food preparation and soft food cookbook for people with special eating needs

Published 22 Feb 2016

Liz Grant and her helpers from Vermilion dental practice have been working away on what will be a practical, useful and beautiful cook book for soft foods. Hopefully this will be completed and published by the Spring (just around the corner). It will also be downloadable as a PDF from the BWT website. Thank you so much to sponsors Vermilion and supporters Fettes College, Dundee dental students and The Orcome Trust.

Natalie Gordon

Published 22 Feb 2016

Natalie Gordon, who is a member of BSDHT, is raising funds for The Trust. With friends Janet Ainsworth, Karen Stathem and Ruth McDermott, she is rallying 1300 miles across Europe in a four day banger rally. Well done team, please support their efforts at Natalie's justgiving page.

Michael Walton awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours 2015

Published 15 June 2015

Dear Friends and Supporters

The Trustees of The Ben Walton Trust are very pleased to let you know that in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015, Mike Walton has been awarded an MBE.

The citation names him as the Founder of The Ben Walton Trust and is recognised for "Services to Raising Awareness of Oral Cancer in the Medical and Dental Professions".

So The Trustees want to thank you for all your hard work, support and encouragement, enabling The Trust to be recognised in this way.

These things do not just happen, nor are they the work of a single individual; rather it is the cumulative effort of many, acting like "water on a stone"! The Trustees would like to acknowledge the vital role that students, professionals, fundraisers for The Trust (of all types, running cycling, cake baking, lecturing, holding awareness events, climbing Bens, to name but a few), have played, to all of whom they are immensely grateful.

Vermilion to climb a Ben for Ben

Published 20 March 2015

Vermilion Vermilion Vermilion Vermilion Vermilion Vermilion

Vermilion are climbing Ben Lomond on June 17th 2015 for the Ben Walton Trust. Ben died at the age of 22, after a year-long battle with mouth cancer. To raise awareness of mouth cancer and raise money for research and cancer care, we are taking on ‘A Ben for Ben!’ You can support and motivate us by donating at You can also do your part by completing the BMJ Learning Module at – free CPD and a great reminder of our part in mouth cancer awareness. Thank you!

"We hope that we have contributed in our small way to your wonderful cause, there were times during the climb when I thought I wouldn’t make it – and I reminded myself why I was doing the challenge and that is what spurred me and some of my team members to carry on."

The nurses in the photograph are as follows, left to right: Jodie Snook, Debbie Sherriff, Emily Weir, Diane Dodds and Kirsten Banks.

Vermilion, 24 St Johns Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6NZ; e-mail:

British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy adopts The Trust as their charity of the year

Published 5 May 2015

Thanks to BSDHT and BSDHT Scotland who have adopted The Trust as their charity for the year. So thanks to the following treasurers and all their regional members: Susan Gerc BSDHT Scotland, Helen Westley, Honorary Treasurer BSDHT re the Annual conference in Liverpool, Renata Sakintyte from Thames Valley region and Cath Clarke of the North West Region. In total they have raised almost £1000.

The Trust is really appreciative and especially so as dental hygienists and therapists are so well placed to detect mouth cancer in its early stages.

BMJ Module comments

Published 15 June 2015

Below are some recent comments on our BMJ module on mouth cancer, which the donations of so many supporter went towards - huge thanks.

"Concise module. Has already helped me with one patient."

Hospital Doctor/Secondary Care Physician - Trainee, Emergency Medicine, GB - "Very good module." 07.05.2015

Plastic Surgery, KY - "Really useful, particularly the photos." 07.05.2015

GP/Family Physician, General Practice, AU - "Great module with detailed images." 06.05.2015

Dundee student donation

Published 21 March

Dundee dental school

Dundee dental students are quite remarkable: they have, almost since the inception of The Trust, been regular supporters of it. The funding raised has gone towards direct patient support, research and the BMJ online learning module (for acccess to this see our home page). Each year the baton has been passed on to the next student generation and many who are now in professional practice continue to support us.

The Dental Student Society of 2013/14 under the able leadership of Nirmal Shah have yet again raised a wonderful donation of £2,222.40. To everyone involved, both the committee and willing volunteers, I would like to pass on my personal thanks: all your efforts are greatly appreciated.

The photo shows Mike Walton and Liz Grant in front of the Dental School receiving a donation from the students who are (from left to right): Kirstin Walker, Scott Gilmour, Nirmal Shah, Claire Gilsenan, Jennifer Tanzilli, and Hannah Agnew.

500 Smiles for Ben

Published 15 June 2015

500 Smiles

The Trust was approached by Karen McBarrons from Gaskell Avenue dental practice in Knutsford, who is a BSDHT  member, with the great idea of cycling 500 miles in Ben's name, to raise awareness of mouth cancer! Below is a little of her text explaining what she ended up doing.

"I have great pleasure in telling you I have completed the 500 smiles for Ben :-) It actually ended up being more as when people heard of the events I was doing they asked me to do other ones too! I did a 5km, two 10km, a 5 mile, the Wilmslow half Marathon runs, The Cheshire cat 107 miles, Tutbury tougher, Matlock madness, a few more hilly and long rides and ended with 110 mile ride to Llangollen and back. Phew!! And a well earned cup of tea at the end :-)

Keep up the grand work you are doing.

Please see Karen in action in the photo.

Paris Half Marathon

Published 14 March 2015

Chris and Nadia Tory and Aoife Laurence Bower

This year we were delighted that two Dundee University dental students, Aofie Canon and Tory Lawson, approached us and asked if they could take part in the Paris Half Marathon on the 8th March and help raise funds for us. As a result, two other people, Laurence Bower and Chris Biggins, contacted us and ran for us too. The photos show the delight on the faces of the runners having completed the course. Many thanks to them for all their fund raising efforts and for putting in hours of training. The times achieved were fantastic!

Chris Biggins' justgiving page

Tory and Aofie's justgiving page


Published 10 March 2015

A big thank you to Renata Sakintyte and members of BSDHT, Thames Valley branch for their donation from a raffle at their branch meeting. Thanks also to BSDHT members in Liverpool for their  generous donation from their annual conference.

Thank you again to  ID Marker Dental Surgery, 220 Dewsbury Road, Leeds LS11 6ER for a further donation following their awareness event in September.

Mouth Cancer Awareness / Action Month 2014

Published 26 Sep 2014

As a contribution to MCAM 2014, we have worked with BMJ Learning to update and extend the online module, Mouth cancer: recognising it and referring early. The module has been fully revised and updated and, for the first time, there is a podcast by a patient speaking of her journey. A five minute video of a full mouth examination, which may be especially helpful to the dental profession, has been produced and can be viewed on our Examination page. This video has been made available courtesy of the copyright holder, Dental Channel.

The module will go live on BMJ Learning on Monday the 29th of September 2014.

This module would not have been possible without the tremendous fundraising support from cyclists; runners; walkers; garden openers; coffee mornings; bakeathons; slave auctions of staff at dental schools; and the ingenious and unflagging support of dental students from many dental schools, individuals, and organisations throughout the UK. Thank you everyone. We should also record our thanks to the late Mary Taubman and her daughters Jane and Alison who, through a very generous legacy, started the ball rolling on a larger scale with dental students nationally, for which we are extremely grateful.

The realisation of the module would not have happened without our very able contacts at BMJ Learning, including Jonathan Black, Dr Jacqueline Batson and Rosie Worrall. Thanks also for the tireless work of Liz Grant, Saman Warnakulasuriya, Christine Gundry, Graham Ogden and the Dundee dental students who have been long-term supporters of the Trust. Lastly, thanks to the module peer reviewer, Paul Speight, who also joined the Sheffield dental students’ initiative in taking to the streets during MCAM 2013 to publicise awareness events.

We sincerely hope that this module will be even more successful than the last and go some way to raising awareness of mouth cancer.

BMJ module 'Mouth cancer: recognising it and referring early'

Instructions below on how a new user can access the module:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your details in the 'create new account' box on the right hand side of the page
  3. Follow the additional steps to register
  4. Once registered, users can search for 'mouth cancer' in the search box and the module will appear. Otherwise click on the module link once logged in. Further details on logging in (PDF link).

Please note that the BMJ Learning module is free to guest users. It is intended primarily for medical professionals, and the video for dental professionals. However, we trust that both professions will find it helpful. Our understanding is that this module will be eligible for CPD for both medical and dental professionals.

Nil By Mouth

Published 24 November 2014 Nil By Mouth Claire Patton

Claire Patton, ex Dundee dental student now training in Maxillofacial at Bristol, is fundraising for The Trust. In her words: "Oral cancer can be a debilitating disease. Many oral cancers require major resective surgery and reconstruction, leading to impaired function and poor facial aesthetics. 2000 people die from the disease annually. Either as a sequelae of surgery or radiotherapy, or as a symptom of the disease, patients are unable to speak or eat for part of their recovery and sadly in some cases may never speak or eat again. I am attempting to be silent and fast for 24 hours. I know this will be tough, but nothing in comparison to what the many patients going through this currently are experiencing. And at least I know that I have the choice to start again. I am supporting the Ben Walton Trust through this as they raise awareness, fund research and encourage appropriate palliative care."

Visit Claire's Nil By Mouth fundraising page on JustGiving

Mouth Cancer Awareness/ Action Month 2014 - The Ben Walton Award.

Published 10 Nov 2014

Ben Walton Trust Awards 2014 Kiss Dental Kiss Dental

Professor Paul Speight of Sheffield University together with Kieran Bhatka and his awareness team who won, The Ben Walton Award for outstanding awareness work during MCAM 2013. This years dental students led by Dinesha Hira continue to support The Trust for which we are immensly grateful for their work in raising awareness amongst other students and members of the general public. More images to come from Sheffield and other participating University Dental Schools.

Kiss Dental (Manchester and Altringham) held an awareness day with home baking and celebrities! Huge thanks to Dr KK Solanski, Adele Holland and the team, Art Dental Studios and all staff and patients that raised £770 for The Trust. Kiss Dental website


Published 26 Sep 2014

The Ben Walton Trust is the chosen charity supported by BSDHT Scotland (2013 until further notice) and subsequently BSDHT nationally (2014-2015). Proceeds from raffles will go to supporting The Trust for which we are very grateful.

The Ben Walton Awards 2014

Published 25 Sep 2014

The Ben Walton Awards for this year have been given jointly to Anja Visser and Adrian Mahwhinney of Dundee Dental School and Kieran Bhakta and his awareness team from Sheffield Dental School. All for outstanding work in awareness events involving other students.


Published 25 Sep 2014

Scotland's Gardens Scheme, West Linton open Gardens on the 15th August raised £311 for The Trust.

Sheffield dental students awareness team raised £2,065 and BSDHT Southern group raised £109 at their raffle.

We are very grateful for all these fundraising efforts which allow us to continue with the projects we are involved in.

Many thanks to ID Marker dental surgery 220 Dewsbury Road, Leeds (0113) 270 5314, who held an oral cancer awareness week in September and raised £142.

Thanks also to BSDHT North West and Cath Clarke their who raised £112 in a raffle at their meeting in September. Thank you BSDHT for all your continuing support.

Many thanks to the Conference of Scottish local Dental Committees who raised £460 at the conference for The Trust in May.

Bob Thomson and Andrew Boggon

Published 12 May 2014

Andrew, Pamela, Bob Bob and Andrew

Two Angus based dental surgeon colleagues are taking to the saddle to raise awareness of mouth cancer in the young and raise funds for The Ben Walton Trust. Bob Thomson (R & PM Thomson, 1 Castle Street, Brechin) and Andrew Boggon (High Street Dental Centre, Montrose) have been clocking up the miles in training for two major cycling events, the inaugural Etape Loch Ness (4th May, 67 miles and 1,200 riders) and Etape Caledonia (11th May, 81 miles and 6,000 riders).

One of Bob's dental patients, Pamela Christie, has also been doing both the Etape Loch Ness and the Caledonian Etape for a very personal reason: "I have chosen to support the Ben Walton Trust after Bob Thomson who is my local dentist had suggested the charity. Three years ago my cousin was picked up with an ulcer that wouldn't heal, he underwent surgery to remove an area of his tongue and no further treatment was required, although he was closely monitored with monthly check ups. Then last year at the age of 38 years he was diagnosed again this time with cancer of the mouth and tongue. He underwent a full cycle of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy and finally surgery to remove the glands from his neck as preventative treatment. He is now in remission and doing well. I wasn't really aware of oral cancer until it effected my family and I want to raise awareness oral cancer and things to look out for. We hear a lot about other cancers and what to look out for, but very little about oral cancer and what we should be checking in our mouths etc. By completing a series of challenges I hope to raise some money towards helping the Ben Walton Trust to continue to raise awareness about the dangers of oral cancer."

By the time this is published, Bob, along with friends and relatives of some of his mouth cancer patients, will have completed the Etape Loch Ness which starts and ends in Inverness after cycling right round Loch Ness on roads temporarily closed to public vehicles. On the 11th May, Bob and Andrew team up with some of the same riders to complete the Etape Caledonia which begins and ends in Pitlochry having gone through some lovely countryside with some incredibly steep hills!

As dental surgeons, both Bob and Andrew wanted to raise funds specifically for a dental charity. After meeting the founder of the Ben Walton Trust, Mike Walton, at both the British Dental Association local branch meeting at Dundee dental school and the Royal College of Surgeons Oral Cancer Study Day in Glasgow, they knew which charity to focus on.

“I am a dental surgeon and, with colleagues, recently attended an inspiring evening on diagnosing and treating oral cancer, which now claims more lives than road accidents. Gone are the days when this disease was reserved for the older person with a history of heavy smoking and drinking. This year alone I’ve seen three younger people with the disease, thankfully at early stages.” Bob Thomson

“We are so very grateful to Bob, Andrew, their colleagues and friends for their superb fundraising efforts. Not only will the money raised help the Ben Walton Trust to fund further research into mouth cancer, but will raise a huge amount of awareness of both the Ben Walton Trust and mouth cancer in general to the people of Angus and beyond.” Mike Walton, Founder of The Ben Walton Trust.

If anyone would like to help Bob and Andrew in their task, please call in to their practices to donate or visit their JustGiving pages: Bob Thomson's JustGiving page and Andrew Boggon's JustGiving page. You can also donate at Pamela Christie's JustGiving page.

Rachel Cruikshank runs the Paris marathon for The Trust

Published 12 May 2014

Rachel Cruikshank

Rachel Cruickshank ran the Paris Marathon on April 6 in aid of two charities, both close to her heart: The Trust and Haylodge Hospital, Peebles. Over to Rachel: "I completed it in four hours without stopping so that's something to be proud of! It was an absolutely scorching day, and I was definitely not used to the weather considering that I was training in the pouring rain in Glasgow. Unfortunately I didn't get a sun tan!" Many congratulations and thanks to Rachel for that brilliant effort. Rachel Cruikshank's JustGiving page.


New fundraisers

Published 12 May 2014

Laura Mauchan

Laura Mauchan is doing 5K for 50 days from 30th March until 18th May. Many thanks and best wishes, go for it! Laura's 5x50 2014 challenge JustGiving page.

Alice Parr and James Wellick, both dental students, completed the Tough Mudder event in West London for us. Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile extreme obstacle course including fire and electrocution! Many thanks and congratulations. Parr and Wellick do Tough Mudder! JustGiving page.

Tom Willan and ID Marker Associates dental practice in Beeston, Leeds, is doing an awareness event during April.

Geraldine Crossley and Horbury Dental practice in Horbury, Wakefield, are cake baking and having an awareness event for The Trust.

Many thanks to everyone involved.

BMJ Learning online module on mouth cancer

Published 12 May 2014

We are pleased to report that a meeting has now taken place in London to start the revision of this online module supported by The Trust. While initially aimed at GPs, the existing module was accessed and completed by a wide range of international health professionals. It has been confirmed that for purposes of CPD the module fulfils all the requirements of CPD for dental professionals too. We will advise when the revised module is completed.

BDSA, Sheffield

Published 27 February 2014

The Trust is taking a stand at BDSA in Sheffield on March 14th, 2014. This is an annual event for students organised by BDA for representatives of all the British Dental Schools, building on links established with Sheffield Dental Students and their excellent MCAW events.

New fundraisers for The Trust

Published 24 February 2014

Four teams are making a fantastic effort to raise funds for The Trust.

Rachel Cruickshank will be running the Paris Marathon on April 6, 2014. She is running in aid of two charities, both close to her heart: The Trust and Haylodge Hospital, Peebles. Many thanks Rachel! Support Rachel at her JustGiving page.

Katy and Lynsey

Katy Sanaghan and Lynsey Millar are running the Bupa Great Women's 10k in Glasgow on May 11. Lynsey is running in memory of her father, John. Many thanks to both Katy and Lynsey. Support them at their JustGiving page. Pictured are Katy (left) and Lynsey (right).

Staff of Clovertec IT Support and Consultancy will be taking part in Total Warrior in aid of The Trust. Taking part from Clovertec are: Charlie Buckley, George Thorpe, Bonnie Green, Scott Taylor and Elliot Mitchell. Many thanks to all involved. Support the Clovertec team at their JustGiving page.

Bob Thomson will be cycling the Etape Loch Ness and Etape Caledonia in May. The two events add up to nearly 150 miles of arduous biking. Many thanks to Bob. Support him at his JustGiving page.

Update, January 2014

Published 15 January 2014

Dear Friends and Supporters

Everything that we do is funded by your efforts. Thank you.

We would like to thank all those regular donors that year by year support us unfailingly and may not have been mentioned before - James and Mary Cochrane, Joyce and Ronnie Smith, the Pyet Deli West Linton, Mrs Barbara Engledew in memory of her son Martin, Scotland's Gardens Scheme, Tom and Hania Foote, Sue and Barry Stonelake and not forgetting our Trustees who give of their time and energy. Huge thanks.

What will we do with the money? Currently we are about to update our BMJ Learning online module; we continue to recruit to our Scotland wide study; we make small awards to dental/medical students who work to increase awareness of the disease; and we always look positively at any reasonable request from individual patients in need.

Thanks to Ian Brown's Restaurant

Dinner with a Difference

In November, Liz Grant and Ian Brown's restaurant organized a quite remarkable evening - 'A Dinner with Difference' - it was attended by around 38 people, patients, carers and family and others. The idea was to put on a top class restaurant meal for people with eating difficulties. By liquidizing and reforming dishes on his normal menu from a range of fresh produce, retaining all the colour and flavour of the food, the result was quite simply an amazing 6 course meal. Ian and his family and staff produced a meal that any restaurant would have been proud of. The proof of the pudding was in the eating, one attendee said that it was the first time that he had eaten proper food for four years!

The plan is to produce a book of recipes with information on the preparation of the dishes - if you have any you would like to contribute, please send to The Trust address. The event was supported by The Ben Walton Trust, Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and Ian Brown's Restaurant, 55 Eastwoodmains Road, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 6PW tel 0141 638 8422.

Thanks to Christine and Emma

Christine and Emma

Christine and Emma are both scientists and work colleagues; both have had mouth cancer with none of the traditional risk factors; both are doing well. They are quite remarkable women who are actively campaigning to increase awareness of this disease. Christine's story is on  our website and Emma will shortly put on the site details of the research project she is currently working on studying younger patients. Both are becoming involved in speaking to medical and dental students about their own stories. Through a variety of means, including a very successful coffee morning, they have raised so far £2,300 for The Trust.

Thanks to Melanie Weigert


Melanie quite remarkably ran The Great Scottish Run half marathon on her birthday, raising around £250 in the process.

Thanks to Dundee dental students

Dundee Dundee Dundee acoustic night

Mike was presented with a cheque for £1774 from last year’s committee by Anja Visser at their 'Acoustics' night - quite a night and huge thanks. Dundee dental students have been remarkable in their continuing support and great awareness events for other students. Nirmal and his committee are actively fundraising and most importantly creating greater awareness of mouth cancer.

To coincide with Mouth Cancer Awareness Month, the British Dental Association Dundee and Perth District Section invited four guest speakers to address its November symposium. Professor Graham Ogden, Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Dundee, and Mr Kishore Shekar, Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at Ninewells Hospital, discussed the increasing incidence and changing presentation of mouth cancer. Mr Michael Walton explored the social impact of mouth cancer and presented the work of The Ben Walton Trust, a charity founded in memory of his son who died of mouth cancer aged 22 years. Miss Anja Visser presented the work of Mouth Cancer Awareness Week. For the last 15 years this local committee has campaigned to raise awareness amongst students at the University of Dundee.

Thanks to Leeds


Tom Willan, Nicola Shenton, and Dental Students Society President Janak Patel presented a cheque for £1600 to Mike Walton when he visited them to give an awareness talk. The money was raised by last year’s students’ committee summer ball. Janak and his team will plan an event later in the academic year. We are very grateful for all that the Leeds students have done in supporting The Trust.

Thanks to Sheffield

Sheffield Sheffield

Sheffield has conducted a very active set of awareness events both for other students and the general public. Their efforts got press coverage in Forge press, The Star, Sheffield Telegraph and Cosmetic Dentistry Guide - and they have also been actively fundraising!

Thanks to Lauren and Sheryl

Thanks to Lauren McMahon and her friend Sheryl, both students at Glasgow Dental School, who raised £131 with a cake bake.

Wishing you all best wishes for a bright New Year.

Michael Walton
Founder/Chair, The Ben Walton Trust

A special dinner for special people - 18 November 2013

Published 29 October 2013

Ian Brown

'A special dinner for special people' will be held at Ian Brown's Food & Drink Restaurant, 55 Eastwoodmains Rd, Giffnock, Glasgow G46 6PW on Monday 18 November at 6.30pm.

Ian Brown is a well known chef who has previously worked in the Ubiquitous Chip in Glasgow. Together with two oral cancer patients, Ian has devised a menu using the ingredients that he normally serves, so none of the taste, colour or presentation will be lost yet the texture will be such that the food is easy to swallow. As well as having dinner, there will be entertainment throughout the evening. There is no charge to those attending although a donation can be made to The Ben Walton Trust. If you are interested in coming along, please get in touch with

We look forward to seeing you there.

The Ben Walton Trust Award 2013

Published 28 October 2013

The Ben Walton Trust Award is eligible for any dental/medical institution to apply for, applicable to a student of excellence who has demonstrated a committment to improve awareness on mouth cancer amongst the student body and or the general public.

Awards were given to:

Awareness/Fundraising: Dental Schools

Fiona Barrow, Mike Walton and Andrew Logeswaran

Fiona Barrow, Mike Walton and Andrew Logeswaran at the UCLan Dental School Summer Ball

Published 28 October 2013

A raffle at the University of Central Lancashire Dental School Summer Ball raised over £500 for The Trust - thanks to President Andrew Logeswaran, Fiona Barrow and Rebecca Morgan and the team.

The Trust has been developing a programme of working with dental schools to engage students in creating awareness events during MCAM for other students. During 2012 Dundee, Glasgow, Leeds and UCLan, Sheffield and currently Sheffield has adopted The Trust as their charity for the year, and Glasgow and Dundee (who have done so for the last 10 years) are actively working on Awareness programmes.

So thanks to many students in particular at Dundee: Robyn Beggs, Niall McGoldrick, Anja Visser and Nirmal Shah; Sheffield: Jamie Rutherford, Ed Walker, Kieran Bhakta; Uclan: Andrew Logeswaran, Fiona Barrow and Rebecca Morgan; Leeds: Meghana Mohan and Lois Welsh; Glasgow: Anna Friel, Julie Nowak, Monica Mcluskey, Lauren McMahon.

Also all those involved in their various committees and the respective student bodies and staff who have assisted and encouraged the students.

Awareness/Fundraising: General

Monica McLuskey

Monica McLuskey

Published 28 October 2013

There are so many people to thank over the course of the last year. Not otherwise mentioned are:

What is so gratifying is that now so many young people are getting involved bringing their own ideas and energy not only in raising funds but most importantly in increasing awareness - awareness and rapid referral will save lives.

Sheffield Dental School

SUDSS book sale

Published 28 October 2013

Sheffield Dental School SUDSS have adopted The Trust as their charity this year. They have even made a small film about their work for Mouth Cancer Awareness Month which you can view on YouTube. Many thanks to Kieran Bhakta and his team and all the student body.

University of Central Lancashire bake-off raises money for The Trust

UCL bake off

Published 18 April 2013

The Dental Students Society of the University of Central Lancashire have raised £322 for The Trust. The money was raised at a Trade Fair, which included a giant buzz wire, ‘guess the number of teeth in a jar’, raffle and dental bake-off. The bake-off attracted some fierce competition was judged by an ‘expert’ panel of school staff

Very many thanks to all those involved, including Fiona Barrow, the student Vice President who initiated the event. As ever it is great to see students increasing awareness amongst other students.

News 2012

BMJ Learning module update

Published 28 November 2012

As of November 2012, 11,139 healthcare professionals have accessed the BMJ Learning module, as funded by The Trust, and completed the module for Continuing Professional Development.

Some comments from users: “Will improve my practice” (Primary Care GP); “Clear, concise, very interesting” (Nurse, Emergency Medicine); “Enlightening” (Primary Care, Ethics)

The module encourages healthcare professionals to learn of the causes of oral cancer together with the signs and symptoms of the disease. In addition, the module brings together the latest research into the disease and highlights areas in which further investigation is needed.

Plum pudding plod

Published 28 November 2012

Corrine Finlay and Hannah Myles, Dental Nurses at Union Street Dental Care, Dundee, are running the ‘Plum pudding plod’ 2.75 mile fun run in fancy dress at Forfar Loch on Boxing Day 2012 for the Ben Walton Trust. Good luck and thank you!

Robyn Beggs completes Tough Mudder run for the Trust

Robyn Beggs

Published 23 November 2012

Robyn Beggs, a 5th year Dundee dental student, has completed the North West Tough Mudder run in Cheshire for The Trust. In her own words: "Twelve miles and 22 obstacles... Running for literally four hours because the obstacles took so long! There was mud, water, ice, tunnels, electric shocks... I'm unbelievably sore but had an amazing time!"

Robyn raised a fantastic £360 for The Trust. Well done Robyn on your valiant effort!

Support Robyn on her justgiving page.

November is Mouth Cancer Action / Awareness Month (MCAM)

Published 1 November 2012

This year is perhaps most significant as Cancer Research UK has just announced that the barrier of 6000 new cases per year, in the UK has  been breached. In fact the figure of just over 6,200 new cases happened in 2009 (with currently around 770 new cases in Scotland).

This now means that mouth cancer has seen the biggest overall  percentage increase in cases of any cancer in the last 25 years.

In 2010 more people died from mouth cancer than from road traffic accidents.

I have observed from when The Trust first started 16 years ago, the incidence figure grow from 2,500 new cases per year to over 6,200 in both males and females. The common question is what is causing this increase? The answer I give is, currently we do not fully understand it. Undoubtedly much of it will be due to changing lifestyle habits, smoking increasing in young women, increased drinking, especially binge drinking in both men and women (doing both heavily increases one's risk by 38 times compared to a non-smoker, or drinker). Human papillomavirus (HPV) is blamed for an increase in oropharyngeal cancer, which affects especially the tonsils, base of the tongue and the oropharynx, however technically not described as mouth cancer. Poor diet and lack of sunlight, causing  a lack of vitamin D, are also in the frame. None of these give the whole story and those 25% of under 45 year-olds where alcohol and tobacco have been demonstrated not to be to blame, cannot be fully understood. Given the remarkable increase in incidence there continues to be an urgent need for more large scale population studies and research into what is a most disturbing disease. In order to find out more, be it a viral or environmental cause.

The good news is that patients who are diagnosed and treated early can have a two year survival of 90% whereas under 50% if detected once there has been metatastic spread. So the message has to be, given that the inside of the mouth is a good indicator of general health, be vigilant for any changes in the mouth that continue for more than two weeks or re-occur. Be aware of the signs that are shown clearly on this site. Do not worry – most mouth conditions are not cancerous. Do have regular dental checks, your dentist is well placed to do a full soft tissue examination of your mouth and this is usually free.

If in doubt, check it out

For any unusual condition in your mouth, see your dentist/GP

To find out more, go to our About the Trust page and also our Research page. For health professionals – BMJ Learning: Mouth Cancer: recognising it and referring it. For dentists – Early Protection and Prevention of Oral Cancer.

I would like to bring to your attention two  awareness initiatives The Trust is involved with during MCAM.

Dentists Improving Awareness

In collaboration with FGDP (Scotland), Scotland's leading dental organisation, a number of individual dental clinics including, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Hamilton and Fife are offering free dental treatment/s in exchange for a donation to The Trust. This is a first and the results will be revealed at the FGDP study day in Glasgow on December 7th 2012. We hope that this will be the start of a larger awareness campaign next year. Many thanks and good luck to all involved.

Students Increasing Awareness

Mouth Cancer Awareness booklet

Dundee dental students have been long term supporters of The Trust and are also at the forefront of MCAM having operated for many years an excellent awareness event for other students. Starting on Monday 5th November they will be setting up a stall in the students union and library of their university. They have also encouraged students at Leeds, Sheffield and the University of Central Lancaster to run  similar events. Great to see young people explaining to other young people, the signs to watch out for and encouraging a healthier and more active lifestyle. Many thanks and we all hope that you will have an enjoyable and successful week.

To see what they do, and we highly recommend it, click the link below for a copy of their brochure, How You Too Can Raise Awareness of Mouth Cancer.

Two exciting events needing some support!

Robyn Beggs, a 5th year Dundee dental student, is doing the North West Tough Mudder runner for The Trust – the title says it all!

Support Robyn Beggs on her justgiving page.

Dundee students are also doing the Tay Bridge Run for The Trust, and if you have walked near the Tay in November, you will know how brave this is!

Support the Dundee Dental School Tay Bridge Run on their justgiving page.

Youth Philanthropy Initiative

Fettes YPI team

Published 1 November 2012

In April, a 4-strong team of Lower Sixth boys from Fettes College successfully won £3000 for The Ben Walton Trust by winning their heat of the Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI). Sean, Marko, Mahmoud and Geordie decided on representing The Ben Walton Trust and met with Michael Walton (Ben's father) and Gemma Gray (Ben's sister) to find out more about the charity and formulate their presentation. The money they were awarded will be spent, according to their wishes, on launching a dental student engagement programme rewarding fundraising and research excellence specifically relating to mouth cancer in the young.

The successful Fettes College YPI team accompanied Michael and Gemma to the YPI award event held in Glasgow on June 25th and thoroughly enjoyed spending a little more time discussing the new initiative with the students. We are hoping that they will remain involved with the work of The Trust and be part of the adjudicating committee in the future.

The Ben Walton Award

Dundee dental students

Published 1 November 2012

Presentation of The Ben Walton Award in June 2012 to Dundee University Dental School Students. Left to right: Jennifer Logan, Mark Hector (Dental Dean), Alison Mackay, Mike Walton, Kate Porter.

The awards were given to students of merit for organising and presenting an awareness of mouth cancer programme for fellow university students. The prizes were given this year in memory of Martin Engledew.

Download a PDF of the students’ Mouth Cancer Awareness Brochure.

Dental Student Committee

Dundee dental students

Published 1 November 2012

Mike Walton  gratefully accepts a cheque for The Trust from the Dental Student Committee 2011. October 2012. Back row: Neil Henderson, Jennifer Chalmers, Carolyn Whyte, Clare Hunter. Front row: David Comiskey, Emma Brown, Mike Walton, Niall McGoldrick, Ravdeep Johal

This brings the total raised for the Trust by the committee in 2011/12 to £4,130. Many thanks to all staff and students involved.

Dundee Dental School raises funds for The Trust

Dundee dental students

Published 15 June 2012

Mike Walton collecting, on behalf of The Trust, a cheque from Dundee Dental School students for £2,600 raised during Mouth Cancer Awareness Week 2011. Funds were raised by a combination of raffles, a ceilidh and a 'slave auction'. So impressed were The Trust by the students' initiative of bringing awareness to other students that they have worked together to produce a brochure and downloadable PDF of how they do it, in order to encourage other dental schools and institutions to join the initiative for 2012.

Mouth Cancer Awareness brochure

Mouth Cancer Awareness booklet

Published 11 June 2012

The Ben Walton Trust has been working with the staff and students of Dundee Dental School to put together a brochure based on the highly successful Dundee students' Mouth Cancer Awareness Week programme. The aim is to develop and disseminate this event to other universities and colleges. Download a PDF of the Mouth Cancer Awareness brochure.

With thanks to staff and students of Dundee Dental School and the Taubman family who have made this project possible. For any information on setting up your own event, contact The Trust.

News 2011

Faculty of General Dental Practice donation

Mike Walton and Liz Grant Mike Walton speaking at conference Mike Walton being presented with cheque

Published 30 November 2011

We are pleased to announce that the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK) Scotland are making a donation when Mike Walton introduces the work of The Trust to them on Friday 2nd Dec. They are also making us their chosen charity for 2012. Many thanks.

Photo, left: Mike Walton centre receiving cheque for The Trust at FGDP study day, presented by Jonathan Hiscocks on left and on right Conor O'Malley, Divisional Director, West Of Scotland.

Photo, middle: Mike Walton speaking at the study day.

Photo, right: Mike Walton and Liz Grant with display banner. Banner design donated by Kenneth Gray; banner printed and donated by Andrew Fawcett of Melville; many thanks for their generous and rapid responses.

Photography by Alister Firth.

Mouth Cancer Awareness Month - November 2011

Dundee students

Published 30 November 2011

During mouth cancer awareness month, we visited Dundee students (as pictured) making other students aware of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and its link with alcohol, tobacco and other causal factors. The dental students run a very lively and well thought out programme based in their students' union, which is always very impressive to see. The Trust is working with the students to develop a strategy to broaden their excellent programme to other Colleges and Universities by using social networking sites.

The Trust has been collaborating with NHS Lothian's Word of Mouth Campaign. Ken Gray has been taking photographs for the project which aims to photograph 3000 individuals.

Mike Walton made an awareness message on news bulletins on Real Radio Scotland in early November.

Outreach event at Braehead Shopping Centre

Published 30 November 2011

Braehead, Glasgow

The Trust recently supported an outreach awareness event, organised by Canniesburn Hospital Head and Neck Unit, at Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow.

Jonathan Hiscocks

Jonathan Hiscocks

Published 25 October 2011

What a brilliant idea! Dentist Jonathan Hiscocks wanted to support The Trust and offered to do a filling free of charge on the basis that Mike Walton donate the fee to The Ben Walton Trust. Many thanks. This led us to think that for 2012 Mouth Cancer Awareness Week, The Trust will approach dentists to see who would be prepared during that period to carry out a patient treatment, free of charge, on the basis that an equivalent fee would be donated by the individual to The Trust.

Amy Harper to run three half marathons for The Trust

Amy Harper Colin Scott The cheerleaders

The Trust was recently contacted by Amy Harper, who first heard of us while a student at Dundee University Dental School. She now works at Edinburgh Dental Institute. It was while working in these institutions that she came into contact with mouth cancer patients and decided she would like to do some fundraising for The Trust. So she and her partner Colin Scott will run two half marathons, with Amy running a third, in Edinburgh in March, April and May 2011. Please see their Justgiving page for details. The dates of the runs are:

Amy also has a very original idea for fund raising. As she and Colin are to be married at the end of July, she is going to donate money to The Trust in place of wedding favours for each of her guests.

We wish both Amy and Colin every success in their careers, in training for their half marathons(!) and for their future happiness together.

Do please visit Amy and Colin's Justgiving page and make a contribution.

Fundraising day in Bowmont Forest

Fundraising in Bowmont Forest Fundraising in Bowmont Forest

The Trust was contacted by Helen Brand, Oral Health Improvement Manager at NHS Borders, to give a donation as a result of a recent social event by dental staff and friends. The photos show runners and strollers enjoying the fundraising day in Bowmont Forest in November 2010. Many thanks to Helen and her colleagues for a generous donation to the Trust.

Dundee University Dental Students' Mouth Cancer Awareness Week 2010

Dundee University

Mike Walton pictured at right attending with staff and students on their awareness stall.

The Trust has recently received a very generous donation from the Dundee Dental Students' Society raised at the awareness week and previous "Slave Auction": very many thanks. The Trust has had a long and fruitful working relationship with the University.

The Experiences of Younger oral cancer patients in Scotland

I am pleased to report that our pilot study, completed last year, has now received ethical and other approvals to carry out in the remaining Health Boards in Scotland. This is always a surprisingly long and arduous process and thanks are due to Liz Grant and Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board for assistance in getting this off the ground. Esther Perera, a researcher from King's London, will be involved in visiting participating units, meeting with specialist nurses and collating data. The results will be put on the site once the project is completed. To remind you, the study looks at individual patient journeys, from first noticing a problem through to diagnosis.

BMJ Learning module - update

Since first posting, more than 2000 users (mainly GPs) have undertaken the module, which The Trust is very pleased with. Remember you can visit this site for free by signing in as a guest - see Mouth Cancer: recognising it and referring early. There have been many positive responses, some posted at present say: "Very useful and thought provoking", "Informative and helpful", "Very good at clarifying what to do with leukolpakia and erythroplakia. Thanks to Ben's Trust for this", "Very well prepared for learning".

Mary Taubman's legacy to The Trust

Taubman family Alison and Jane Taubman with Michael Walton

Last week, Ben's family met with sisters Alison and Jane Taubman whose late mother Mary left a substantial legacy to The Trust in her will. Mary Taubman/Edmonds had been a long-term supporter of The Trust and her never-ending encouragement especially in the early years enabled The Trust to undertake many of its early projects. With a personal legacy, The Trust very much wanted to talk through the intended allocation of funds with the sisters in order to keep them informed and involved. The photo shows Mike Walton with Alison and Jane after agreeing that the funds should go to the core audience of The Trust - young people. Plans are underway to work with dental/medical students to highlight awareness of The Trust and early symptoms of mouth cancer. More information available soon.

News 2010

December 2010

It is usual to make a report on progress around this time of year and a full report will happen in the New Year. However, I want to update you before the start of the Christmas season.

Michaela Best

Big thanks to : Michaela Best for using a big birthday as a way of giving to charity, see her page at - to date she has raised, with Gift Aid, over £500 for The Trust. Very many thanks, Michaela.

Mary and Jimmy Cochrane, family and friends, who annually hold a family dinner to raise funds for various charities. This year they have raised £180 for The Trust: what a great way to have a splendid meal together and fund raise. As ever, very many thanks, Mary and Jimmy.

Many thanks to Mrs Barbara Engledew and her family who donate every year to the Trust in memory of her son Martin who died around the same time and age as Ben; an otherwise fit young man. Thanks also to all those constant supporters who remember us at Christmas time, always much appreciated.

Two important bits of information:

Since going online in August over 1000 GPs completed the learning module that we supported and developed with BMJ Learning. You can access the module for yourself by going online to BMJ Learning and looking at Mouth Cancer: recognising it and referring early. With many thanks to all who helped with this module, in particular Phil Zack of BMJ Learning, Professor Saman Warnakulasuriya of Guy's, King's, and St Thomas' and Liz Grant of Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.

The Trust's recent pilot research project, The Experiences of Younger Oral Cancer Patients in Scotland from Self Diagnosis to Treatment, has now received ethical approval to extend to cover all of Scotland. This project will commence in 2011.

Thank you for your support during the year, your contributions really do allow us to continue our work.

With Best Wishes for Christmas and a bright 2011.

Michael Walton

Scotland's Gardens Scheme, Open Gardens, West Linton, June 13th 2010

We are still not sure how the gardeners of West Linton do this, but a grey and uncompromising morning turned, just in time, to provide visitors with gardens basked in sunshine and a relaxed and enjoyable time was had by all. The sum of £511 was raised for The Trust.

With many thanks to garden owners John and Sandra Bracken, Chris Lyall, Colin and Margaret Torrance, Ken and Margaret Hogg, Howard Paterson, Jon and Rose Parrott and Mark and Lesley McDavid and to all the organisers.

Trust project highlighted in the British Dental Journal

I am pleased to tell you that in the current issue of the British Dental Journal, vol 208 no 10 pages 465-471, there is an article by Professor Saman Warnakulasuriya on our project, The Experiences of Younger Oral Cancer Patients in Scotland, from Self Diagnosis to Treatment. it is hoped that a second paper on the project will find publication later this year.

Our Module on Mouth Cancer in conjunction with BMJ learning is currently out for independent peer review. We anticipate that it will be published online within the next three months.

Golden Mile Toddle

Estella and Jamie

Congratulations to Estella (Ben's niece) and her best pal Jamie who completed their one mile toddle on Sunday 6th June.

The excited pair dressed as fairies with butterfly face paints and set off at a fair pace. They off-roaded on occasion, tackled the official photographer (Estella's Dad) to the ground and crossed the line holding hands.

They have raised a fantastic £700 including giftaid - have a look at their justgiving page for details.

And you can also see some pictures of the girls on their walk [PDF]

Liz Grant cycles Etap Caledonian for the Trust

Liz Grant

Sunday 16th May 2010 "Up at the crack of dawn - 5.30am. I must be completely crackers but on the starting line were another 4,000 people just like me. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the funds raised to date have been a real boost in getting the Ben Walton Trust Charity shop up and running. There is still time to donate if you would like to - I'd love to hear from you!"

Liz Grant is raising money to help establish the first Ben Walton Charity Shop in Glasgow which will serve to generate funds into research and education ssociated with oral cancer. It is also intended to increase awareness of signs and symptoms of the disease. Liz cycled the Etap Caledonian (81 miles) in Pitlochry on Sunday 16 May in aid of the Trust.

You can make a donation via her JustGiving page. JustGiving is easy, fast and totally secure. JustGiving sends your donation straight to the Trust and, if you're a UK taxpayer, automatically reclaims Gift Aid on the Trust's behalf, making your donation go further. What's more, JustGiving will never spam you or sell your details.

Well done Liz!

James Dwyer runs 10K for the Trust

James Dwyer, who ran a 10K in October in Nottingham (see below), is to run another 10K in Huddersfield with a couple of friends for the Trust on 28th Feb 2010. He has informed us that he is also going to do 10Ks in Lincoln and Bradford, a 24 hour 3 peaks run, and a full marathon in Reykjavik in August (a good time and place to do it !)

Well done James and every success. Sponsor James on his Justgiving page.

News 2009

Progress Report December 2009

Download a PDF copy of the Trust's Progress Report (December 2009)

200 Club

We are proposing to set up a 200 club where for a £50 yearly subscription, supporters can be entered into prize draws. Many organisations have found this an effective fundraising venture. For information e-mail Trust Project Manager Liz Grant or contact us directly.

Stop Press - Trust to Collaborate with BMJ Learning

Professor Graham Ogden, Mike Walton, final year Dental students, local GDP and Liz Grant at a Mouth Cancer Awareness Week event at Dundee University Students Union.

Professor Graham Ogden, Mike Walton, final year Dental students, local GDP and Liz Grant at a Mouth Cancer Awareness Week event at Dundee University Students Union.

In 2010 The Trust is initiating and funding a module on Oral Cancer and the Younger Patient, in collaboration with BMJ Learning. This module will be examinable for CPD (continuing professional development) by GPs and others. Although essentially used by GPs and other BMJ subscribers, it is hoped to make the module freely available to other users via web links.

It also has the other great advantage that the BMJ will circulate it and test and evaluate it.

I am also pleased to inform you that the first of two papers developed by Professor Saman Warnakulasuriya from our pilot project, “The Experiences of Younger Oral Cancer Patients in Scotland,” have been accepted for publication by the British Dental Journal and will appear in the New Year. Anyone wishing to support The Trust, or be updated on our activities, please contact us and we will store your e-mail address for mailouts.

Best Wishes to everyone who has supported us this year and for the help and support of all who have been involved in our projects.

James Dwyer

James Dwyer

James used to work in Old Nick's Tavern in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. Old Nick's were terrific early supporters of The Trust, in fact they funded much of our early research projects. James did a parachute jump for us several years ago. On the 10th October James completed the Men's Health Survival of the Fittest 10K in Nottingham. He came 522nd out of 3000, doing it in 1.15.08, which is a great achievement. James has a just giving page which will remain open if anyone wants to support him in this great event.

Scotland's Gardens Scheme, Open Gardens, West Linton August 2009


This year gardens opened in West Linton on the 2nd August, where yet again(!) the sun broke through and created a very successful afternoon, with £620 being raised for The Trust.

With many thanks to garden owners John and Laura Irvine, Ellen and John McCann, Nancy Porteous, Colin and Margaret Torrance and Fay Young and to all the organising committee.

The House of Lords debates Mouth Cancer

On the 22nd June 2009 the House of Lords debated, under health issues, the topic of mouth cancer.

The debate was tabled by Baroness Gardner of Parkes who is by profession a dentist. The debate was well researched and informed and the Lords who contributed to the debate are to be congratulated on bringing this matter to the attention of the Health Minister.

Any comments on the debate, please respond to The Trust as they will be both following the results of it and corresponding with participants.

Transcript of the debate.

Iriston House run the Edinburgh Marathon

Iriston House Dental Clinic

Congratulations to the Iriston House Dental Clinic who have been raising money for the Ben Walton Trust with a fantastic team running effort.

Raman Chandra and his colleagues Christopher Stewart, Sarah Tobin and Chris Gardiner all ran the Edinburgh Marathon and raised a superb £2100 which is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all those who donated online as well as in the surgery - wonderful to see so many practice patients helping to raise this total. We will keep you informed of exactly how the money is being spent. Please remember that every penny goes towards funding research and raising awareness of oral cancer in the young.

They did it!

Ken and Gemma with medals

Gemma (Ben’s sister) and Ken (Gemma’s husband) completed the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday in a respectable time of 1hr 12 mins. Gemma sneakily managed to be one second faster than Ken but as promised they crossed the finish line holding hands.

“We were proud to wear the Ben Walton Trust T-shirts, the crowds cheered us on and the knowledge that we had raised so much money really helped when it came to km9.”

A huge thank you to all those who donated with the total now standing at £2050.77 including all donations, gift aid, cash from friends, money from the Glencorse boys at Fettes College (see below) and an anonymous lady who handed them £10 as they celebrated in an Edinburgh restaurant.

You can still sponsor them by going to their justgiving donation page.

Glencorse House Talent Show

Following on from the retiring collection at the Fettes College carol concert, Mike Walton went to speak to all the pupils at Fettes to inform them about the work of The Ben Walton Trust and tell them about Ben. As a result of this, the boys of Glencorse House (one of the Fettes boarding houses) chose The Ben Walton Trust to benefit from their 4th Glencorse House Talent Show. The evening was a huge success, with over 60 parents present and a broad range of talents on show. There was ‘a cappella’ singing, music by Metallica and cross dressing as well as the Housemaster and prefects’ version of The Killers’ ‘Read my Mind’. Ben would be particularly happy that The Beach Boys (Ben’s favourite band) featured heavily by complete coincidence.

Over £450 was raised and a cheque was presented to Gemma (who works at Fettes).

“We are so grateful to Glencorse for selecting us as their charity and the very valuable funds they raised. To know the money was raised while a huge amount of fun was had makes it even sweeter.”

‘The Experiences of Younger Oral Cancer Patients in Scotland’ research project

I am pleased to inform you that our latest research project entitled ‘The Experiences of Younger Oral Cancer Patients in Scotland: From Self-diagnosis to Treatment’ is now complete. It was carried out in conjunction with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, University of Bath and King’s College, London. This study was initiated and funded by The Trust.

Download a PDF of the research report.

The Ben Walton Trust would like to thank all members of the Scottish Oral Cancer Action Group (SOCAG) and all members of the initial working party for this study.

The Trust would also like to thank all those supporters who have run marathons and other races, opened gardens, baked cakes, given lectures, cyled parts of the Tour de France route, etc, in short all the things one has to do as a small charity to raise funds to finance such a study as this. Without you this study could not have taken place.

This site will keep you up-to-date with where and when it is published in professional journals, etc.

Gemma and Ken running

Gemma (Ben's sister) and her husband will be running the 2009 Great Edinburgh Run in aid of the Trust.

“Last year at the Great Edinburgh Run, Ken and I cheered on those running for The Ben Walton Trust as they crossed the finish line. At that moment we both felt rather inferior and thought that we should get off our bums and raise money in memory of my beloved brother Ben. So, we are running in the 2009 Great Edinburgh Run - 10k round this lovely city of ours and no matter what, we will cross the line together whether that be hand in hand or one of us carrying the other!” Gemma Gray

Donate now at their Just Giving page.

Fettes College retiring collection

Fettes chapel

Fettes College Edinburgh had a retiring collection at the end of their Autumn concert at St Mary's Cathedral and raised in excess of £500. Michael Walton was then invited to speak at Chapel to talk about The Ben Walton Trust and gave a thought provoking and uplifting speech to the whole school. We would like to thank all the parents and pupils for their continued support.

News Update and Fundraising News 2007/08

We thought it useful to have a web based newsletter, so that friends and supporters can see what has been happening on a more regular basis than our usual written reports.

The Project

A pilot study of younger oral cancer patients' experiences during their journey through pre-diagnostic NHS care. (A full copy of this project outline can to be sent electronically on request). All patient interviews based in Edinburgh, the Lothians and the West of Scotland have now been completed: these have now been sent to the University of Bath for analysis. As soon as this has been carried out, a report will be posted on this site.


I have to report a very active period here and many thanks to all individuals who have contributed in all manner of ways.

Scotland's Gardens

Starting in Summer 2007. Through Scotland's Gardens scheme, the gardens in and around West Linton opened giving a percentage of takings to The Trust. On the days in question the weather behaved perfectly (somewhat surprisingly) and the event raised £617. Many thanks to Trish Kennedy and all those West Linton gardeners who so generously gave their time to the event.

Edinburgh Dental Institute

Clare Farnsworth, a dental nurse in the oral surgery department, and friends organised a staff bake and raised £110, not only raising money but also awareness.

Dundee Dental School

Through this year's organiser, David Sutherland, the University of Dundee Dental School continued with their tremendous support that has gone on for many years. They raised funds for three charities by having a slave auction of students (not as dodgy as it sounds). A good evening was had by all and £2,210 was raised for The Trust. We have a great arrangement in that they raise the money, then we pay back 50% to their patients' fund.

Royal Bank of Scotland

It is probably not well enough known, but the RBS actively encourages their staff to be involved in charity work. Through their 'Community Cashback' scheme, RBS has donated £250 a year over many years because Val Bennett, our Treasurer, works for the bank. Many thanks both to RBS and to Val for all her sterling work.

London Marathon

Elizabeth Herman very generously ran the London Marathon for us on the 13th April in memory of her sister Joan Cunningham. Joan died of oral cancer just before Ben. This was Elizabeth's first marathon and she did fantastically well, completing it in 3 hours 47.26 (well within her target 4 hours), raising £2178. She said that she would have finished sooner had it not been for there being so many people in the way! A special thanks to Elizabeth, her husband Andrew, and her mother Georgie, who have helped in so many ways over the years. (We hope to be able to post a photo shortly of the event)

Edinburgh Great Run

Lead by Micheal McAuliffe, a great team of Doctors associated with Maxillo Facial Surgery, Dentistry and a med student ran on the 4th May 2008. Fiona Crawford (who has very generously run for us before), Eoin Mills, Anthony James, Angela Dickson, Marie Gavin, Neil McCulloch and Victoria Nason raised over £1000: well done. See the photos for the drama of it all.

Etap du Tour

Stuart Taylor

Stuart Taylor, my nephew, completed this event (one of the stages of the Tour de France) on the 6th July and raised around £4,000. See his page on He finished in 8 hours 53 minutes, coming 4,497 out of 7,500 finishers. Well done, phew! To quote Stu, 'I even have a cheap gold medal to prove it. The weather was apalling, rain drizzle all the way and the big climbs took us into the clouds.' In thanking his sponsors he says, 'In the last few miles, in my case up a very steep hill, it is very motivating to think of all the individuals who have contributed to The Ben Walton Trust in this way. So thank you.'

What more can I say, but a very big thank you to all those individuals, and a particular mention here to the Pyet Deli of West Linton, who time and time again generously support our work by way of regular fundraising. We have this year joined, which is a very effective and efficient fundraising method. Thanks for donations are instantly issued with a receipt and 'Gift Aid' collected and sent to our bank account. See the justgiving Ben Walton Trust page.

We are always open to suggestions and new ways of fundraising. Anyone wanting to run a marathon or race for us, please give good advance warning to the race organisers as you usually have to register well in advance to enter and be considered as a supported charity. A big thank you to all.

Michael Walton
for and on behalf of the Trustees of The Ben Walton Trust