Press release posted 25 October 2023

Caryl Hughes, a renowned Welsh opera singer, is on a mission to raise awareness and much-needed funds for small cell lung cancer research in honour of her father.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, for both men and women, but early detection of lung cancer makes it more treatable. Every November in the UK, Lung Cancer Awareness Month takes place with the aim of raising awareness.

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) makes up 1 in 7 of lung cancers. It is difficult to spot the symptoms and there is currently little research into SCLC and its treatment.

Caryl’s motivation is a tribute to her late father, John Alwyn Hughes, who was treated for SCLC in Wales and sadly died of this rare form of cancer in May 2022 aged 80. Caryl’s desire to make a difference was born from witnessing her father bravely dealing with his 9-month illness. She observed his frustration as he navigated the challenging journey, often encountering a lack of information and answers due to the rarity of the condition. Her father, a scientist in his own right, found himself at a loss, with limited treatment options such as chemotherapy.

After Caryl’s dad passed away, she decided to honour his memory by embarking on a mission to ensure that others facing the same diagnosis might have access to better resources and potential breakthroughs.

Caryl reached out to organisations dedicated to cancer research, forging connections with the Roy Castle Foundation and University College London (UCL). However, it was The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester that offered her the most hope in the quest for small cell lung cancer research.

The Christie is one of Europe's largest experimental cancer medicine centres and an international leader in research and development with around 650 clinical studies ongoing at any one time.

Caryl began her personal fundraising campaign by organising her first concert in her home village of Aberdaron, at St Hywyn’s Church, where Welsh band Pedair performed. The event was a resounding success, raising £4,300 for The Christie Charity via ticket sales and a raffle.

"Aberdaron is a very small village – people there have been so generous and supportive.” Caryl commented. “My dad would have been immensely proud of what I'm doing. I am deeply passionate about supporting research for small cell lung cancer. It's a cause that's very close to my heart.”

Caryl’s commitment to raising awareness and funds for small cell lung cancer research does not end there. She is organising another fundraising event in London for The Christie Charity before Christmas, ‘Carols by Candlelight’.

Jennifer Kent from The Christie Charity said: “We’re so thankful to Caryl for her dedication and the amazing fundraising she has been doing for The Christie. With November being Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we hope more people will be talking about SCLC, and will support Caryl with her special carol concert in December.”

Carols by Candlelight will take place at St John the Evangelist Church, Kensal Green, London on 15 December 2023 at 7.30pm. The concert will feature international operatic stars, Fflur Wyn (soprano), Ashley Catling (tenor) and pianist Annabel Thwaite. There will be audience participation, followed by mulled wine and mince pies plus a raffle.

Contact Caryl to purchase tickets by email at You can also contact the venue at St John the Evangelist, Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green, London, W10 4AA or telephone them at 0208 969 2615.

All proceeds will go to research for small cell lung cancer (SCLC) at The Christie.

To support the work of The Christie Charity, please visit our donate page or ring 0161 446 3988.

The Christie Charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education, and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.