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Cat Richards
An “inspiring and emotional” film about the work of PLANETS and how the charity is transforming care has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

PLANETS helps patients with pancreatic, liver, colorectal, abdominal (oesophageal and gastric) and neuroendocrine cancer by funding patient support groups and other initiatives, innovative treatments and research.

The film highlights the charity’s commitment to making a difference to the lives of cancer patients and features a number of those helped by PLANETS in recent years.

It was produced by video production company Neck of the Woods Films and has now been shortlisted alongside 14 other entries out of a total of 500 in the Smiley Charity Film Awards 2024.

While the first award will be decided by a judging panel, the film is also in the running for the People’s Choice Award which will be decided by a public vote via the Charity Film Awards website – with supporters being urged to come forward and help push the charity to victory.

Among those to feature in the film are neuroendocrine cancer patients Cat Richards, 38, from the West Midlands, and Joe Freire, 61, from Havant, as well as stomach cancer patient Dave Mollicone, 60, from Eastleigh, who held a ball for the charity in February last year which raised £18,000.

It also shows members of the PLANETS clinical and fundraising teams, with a voiceover by recently retired surgeon and PLANETS co-founder Neil Pearce, who explains how fundraising for the charity changes lives.

Since 2011 the charity has raised more than £2 million and delivered achievements including a network of patient support groups across the Wessex region and the UK’s first mobile electron beam radiotherapy machine based at University Hospital Southampton.

The charity has also funded a full-time pancreatic and neuroendocrine tumour researcher to work with clinician scientists at UHS and the University of Southampton’s world-leading cancer immunology research department.

In addition, pioneering research funded by a collaboration between PLANETS and the Liver and Pancreatic Research & Development Fund (LAPR&D) has seen clinicians identify genetic patterns that could help to predict the likelihood of someone developing pancreatic cancer.

PLANETS, supported by a grant from The Hospital Saturday Fund, has also funded a pilot project which involved surgeons in Southampton using 3Dprinted models of patients’ livers to help them perform a complex cancer operation for the first time.

Meanwhile, a partnership between PLANETS and property developer Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties has enabled the creation of a new wellbeing room for patients with liver diseases at University Hospital Southampton which was opened earlier this month.

Through the film, PLANETS hopes to provide an insight for everyone about the important role it is playing in supporting and changing the lives of cancer patients across the UK.

“This film captures the essence of what PLANETS is about – a celebration of hope, resilience and the power of unity between our patients, clinicians and supporters,” said Jo Green, operations director at PLANETS and a neuroendocrine patient herself.

“It is inspiring and emotional and provides an insight into our charity that we hope shows everyone who has supported us what a difference their involvement is having on the lives of others.”

She added: “We want to again say thank you to the courageous and inspiring patients who gave up their time and shared their experiences with us and to Neck of the Woods Films who were so empathetic with everyone involved and helped us to capture what we do so perfectly.

“To be shortlisted for a national award is recognition of just how special this film is and highlights the skill of Neck of the Woods Films in producing such an excellent representation of everything we stand for.

“The winner will be chosen through a public vote which is now open so we want to urge everyone to get behind us and visit the website to view the film and place a vote as it will mean so much to our charity and the patients we support to bring this award home.”

To watch the film and place a vote, visit

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