Our #GetOnARoll campaign
Launched in summer 2022, our #GetOnARoll campaign called on supermarkets across the country to put bowel cancer symptoms on their own brand loo roll – where people need to see them most.
Right now, nearly four in ten people can't name a single symptom of bowel cancer, despite it being the fourth most common cancer in the UK. Knowing the symptoms, and acting on them, means that bowel cancer can be diagnosed earlier when it is more treatable and curable. But fewer than four in 10 people are diagnosed at the early stages. We can change this and ultimately save more lives.
Changes in bowel habit and blood in your poo are two bowel cancer symptoms that happen while you're on the toilet. Seeing the symptoms on loo roll packaging should prompt you to check your poo every time you pick up a pack so you can act early, visit your GP quickly and get an earlier diagnosis. It could save your life.
Campaign success and updates
- Thursday 26 May 2022: We partner with M&S to add the symptoms of bowel cancer on all their own brand loo roll
- Thursday 16 June 2022: Our #GetOnARoll campaign is launched, calling on people to ask their supermarkets to follow the lead of M&S and add the symptoms of bowel cancer on their own loo roll packaging
- Tuesday 21 June 2022: Andrex joins our #GetOnARoll campaign and commits to adding the symptoms of bowel cancer to their full range of loo roll packaging
- Wednesday 22 June 2022: Aldi joins our #GetOnARoll campaign and commits to include the symptoms of bowel cancer, together with a QR code for customers to find out more, on over 70 million packs of loo rolls every year
Thursday 23 June 2022: Morrisons joins #GetOnARoll, which will see signs and symptoms of bowel cancer added to its own brand toilet roll packaging
- Friday 24 June 2022: Waitrose joins our #GetOnARoll campaign – they will be updating packaging and information available to customers in order to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms
- Friday 24 June 2022: Asda joins #GetOnARoll and commits to featuring symptoms of bowel cancer on all ranges of own-brand toilet tissue packs from the Autumn, and on posters in toilets in their offices. Before the partnership packs go on sale, Asda will be placing symptoms posters on store shelves to drive awareness
- Wednesday 6 July 2022: Sainsbury's, one of the UK's leading supermarkets, announces they're joining our #GetOnARoll campaign and will be printing the symptoms of bowel cancer across their own-brand toilet paper from October 2022
- Friday 8 July 2022: Co-op joins our #GetOnARoll campaign, and announces they will be printing the symptoms of bowel cancer across their own-brand loo rolls to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms
- Friday 26 August 2022: It's National Toilet Paper Day and we take the opportunity to thank our supporters and partners for getting on a roll with us. Morrisons announce that new packaging, complete with loo roll symptoms, is now live in stores across the UK
- Thursday 8 September 2022: M&S own-brand toilet roll packaging featuring bowel cancer symptoms is now available in their stores
- Friday 10 February 2023: Ocado Retail joins our #GetOnARoll campaign and launches their toilet roll packs displaying bowel cancer symptoms. They're also first to add symptoms information to their packs of moist wipes
- Monday 20 March 2023: B&M, inspired by a colleague diagnosed with bowel cancer, joins our campaign. They'll be helping to raise awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer by updating their own brand toilet roll packaging to display the symptoms of the disease
- April 2023: Our #GetOnARoll partners used their collective voice across Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 2023 to support us and raise vital awareness of our #KnowTheHigh5 symptoms campaign
- July 2023: Our campaign wins Charitable Campaign of the Year at the Communiqué Awards 2023. This is awarded for a campaign the judges believe shows significant impact in helping grow the organisation's reach
- September 2023: We're named Corporate National Partnership of the Year with a Retailer at the Charity Times Awards 2023. This award recognises the active involvement of a retail organisation through a partnership with a charity, which has had a positive impact towards the charity's work
We need you
Have you been inspired by our campaign? Wondering how your organisation could join us to help save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer? Get in touch by sending us an email today. Our friendly team would love to hear from you.
We've achieved so much thanks to our amazing community of campaigners, but there's so much more to do. If you haven't already, join us as a campaigner. Together we're working towards a future where nobody dies of bowel cancer.
How M&S kicked this campaign into action
We’re delighted to be partnering with leading British retailer Marks and Spencer to raise awareness of bowel cancer and its symptoms among the store's 30 million customers. In September 2022, packs across M&S' entire loo roll range with information on the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, our logo and key infographics began to appear in store. Customers are able to scan a QR code on the packaging, which takes them through to our website to learn more about bowel cancer. M&S also introduced new signage about bowel cancer symptoms in-store and across support centre toilets.
The idea originated from M&S employee Cara Hoofe, a supporter of ours who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016. She submitted the idea via the retailer's CEO suggestion scheme, Straight to Stuart. Stuart Machin, CEO at M&S, asked all retailers to join them.
Cara reflects on the momentum the campaign has had since that moment: "When I first put the idea [of putting symptoms of bowel cancer on loo roll] forward to M&S, I was thrilled it was a 'Yes'. Whilst I hoped that this was the beginning of something bigger, never once did I stop and think that we would be in the position that we are today. This campaign has really shown me the power of collaboration. The partnership between M&S and Bowel Cancer UK was just the first step in what was to come. The #GetOnaRoll campaign was created and Bowel Cancer UK rallied their supporters to take action, asking their favourite supermarkets to #GetOnaRoll. A simple idea with a simple campaign behind it, but it had a big effect.
"To be in the position now where all the major supermarkets have adopted the initiative is beyond words, and I can honestly say it wouldn't have happened without the support of M&S, Bowel Cancer UK or all the wonderful people who got behind the campaign.
"I find it hard to express what this campaign means to me. To have the signs and symptoms out there on such a large scale is just the beginning. There is so much more that needs to be done to ensure that we are moving towards a world where no one dies from bowel cancer, but just for a moment I am pausing to reflect, to remember those in our community that have died from this disease, hoping that I have done them proud."
M&S employee and Bowel Cancer UK supporter Cara Hoofe