End of Treatment Bells
1817. Tracey Payton
1818. Phil Payton
Tracey and Phil Payton, from Manchester, are the founders of ‘End of Treatment Bells’, an initiative which has placed bells in over 200 hospitals and treatment centres across the UK for children to ring and celebrate the end of treatment for cancer or other conditions.
Tracey and Phil were inspired after their eight-year-old daughter Emma received NHS-funded Proton Beam Therapy for a tumour in Oklahoma and saw how American hospitals often allowed patients to ring bells to mark the end of treatment. They wanted to bring the concept to hospitals and treatment centres in the UK, not only to provide comfort and a boost to the wellbeing for families but also to help raise awareness of children’s cancers, highlighting patient stories and family experiences, and sharing information about the signs, symptoms and treatments of children’s cancers. The first bell was installed at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, with hundreds now in place across the UK, and Tracey and Phil have also sent bells to hospitals internationally, including in Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Qatar and the USA.
In a personal letter to Tracey and Phil, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was uplifted to learn about your daughter Emma’s story and your creation of ‘End of Treatment Bells’ to celebrate the end of her cancer treatment. It is fantastic that you have created a movement which will bring so much joy to other families, as it did to yours.
“It is brilliant that your celebration bells now feature in over 300 hospitals and treatment centres. I was also inspired to learn of how you kept this going during the pandemic by sending out bells to families at home. I am delighted that those families who have been through so much have a reason to celebrate the good health of their children.”
Mary Robinson, Tracey and Phil’s local MP for Cheadle, said:
“End of Treatment Bells’ is a fantastic initiative! I am delighted that Phil and Tracey Payton have been recognised for their achievement in placing over 200 hospital bells, so children can ring out the end of cancer treatment. Together with their amazing fundraising efforts and awareness campaigning, these are thoroughly well-deserved ‘Point of Light’ awards.”
Tracey and Phil said:
“We are honoured to receive this award in recognition of the work we’ve done since our daughter’s cancer diagnosis in 2013 when she was just eight years old.
“Ringing the bell was such a monumental part of reaching the end of that particular stage of her treatment journey and we are so proud that we’ve donated over 340 bells to hospitals and treatment centres since then. During Covid restrictions, we have also sent bells out to over 350 families so they could still celebrate milestones with their friends and loved ones.
“Thank you so much for honouring our work with such an illustrious award. We’re blown away that people have noticed what our little charity is trying to achieve.”