OCA's white rose campaign
For the last two years on World Ovarian Cancer Day (8th May) you’ve helped us raise awareness by handing out thousands of white roses with symptoms information on the tags across the UK and creating a storm on social media!
Sadly we can’t hand out roses this year, but with far fewer people going to their GP than usual it’s more important than ever that we raise awareness of the disease and its symptoms.
So we're raising awareness throughout the whole month of May by asking you to create your own white rose in any way you like, upload it to our online rose garden, and share on social media along with symptoms information. Whether you draw, paint, knit or bake, you might just save a life.
Find out more and download your free white rose craft pack today. We can't wait to see what you create!
How it all started in 2018
In 2018, we decided that traditional ways of raising awareness of ovarian cancer weren’t having as much impact as we wanted. We knew we needed to do something very different to reach people with this important information.
With the help of some volunteers we handed out 7,400 white roses around the UK to represent the 7,400 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK each year. Each rose had a tag tied to the stem with information about the symptoms of ovarian cancer and a request to photograph the rose and share this online.
Female celebrities and influencers also lent their support by sharing photos of white rose bouquets with symptoms cards attached, kindly donated by OCA partner Bloom & Wild. They highlighted the common misconception that a smear test detects ovarian cancer and explained why symptom awareness is so important for women of all ages. Together they reached more than 1 million followers with this vital information.
Taking things to the next level in 2019
Following the previous year’s success, in 2019 we decided to go one stage further, recruiting volunteers from around the country to hand out 33,000 roses. Each rose served to represent a British woman living with the disease and act as a symbol of hope for a world without ovarian cancer.
Our CEO Cary Wakefield kicked off WOCD, joining supporter Anna Szalay on the BBC Breakfast sofa. Anna spoke eloquently about her own experience of diagnosis, aged just 19 and Cary explained why earlier diagnosis is so vital if we’re to see an improvement in survival rates in the UK.
Some incredible influencers again lent their support, including Hannah Witton and Maisie Hill. We also saw politicians (including Prime Minister Theresa May) in England, Scotland and Wales uniting behind the campaign. They wore white roses and pledged their support for earlier diagnosis.
We couldn’t have done it without you!Volunteering
In 2019, 160 incredible volunteers across 25 UK locations braved the British weather and took to the streets to spread the word about ovarian cancer and its symptoms. We’re so grateful for their energy, enthusiasm and commitment to creating a better future for women. To find out about future volunteering opportunities, click here.
We were spotted handing out roses at locations across the UK from Bristol to Birmingam to Belfast — and everywhere in between! Our supporters helped us spread the word online by sharing photos of their roses on on Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #WOCD. Our voices are louder together and it was incredible to see so many of you sharing potentially life-saving information with your friends and family.Donating
World Ovarian Cancer Day is an amazing opportunity to shout as loud as we can about the disease and its symptoms but it's just the tip of the iceberg. All year round our scientists at the Ovarian Cancer Research Centre, The University of Oxford and beyond are working to find the next breakthrough in ovarian cancer research. Your donation will support the work they do each and every day. Donate now.