Our 30th anniversary

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Get A-Head Charitable Trust.

Formed in the Midlands in 1994 by John Watkinson – one of the UK’s leading ear, nose and throat surgeons – our role has been to support people with head and neck diseases, especially cancer, to live better lives.

It’s a great achievement to be marking 30 years of making a difference. During the last three decades we have raised more than £10 million and now support people nationwide living with head and neck diseases.

We answer requests for help from individuals, researchers and treatment centres across the UK, funding life-changing equipment that isn’t available on the NHS, research into the causes and treatment of head and neck conditions, particularly cancer, continuing education for healthcare professionals and complementary therapies to help improve the lives of patients.

Throughout the year we will be reflecting on what we’ve achieved and celebrating the difference our charity has made to people’s lives. There will also be an opportunity for our supporters to get involved in helping to raise further funds for the charity by taking part in the many events that we have organised throughout 2024.

You can keep up to date with all our latest news here https://getahead.org.uk/news/ and if you would like to be the first to know about what we we’re up to you can sign-up to our newsletter using the form in our footer.

Our Stories

Living with the long-term diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma
The family coping with loss after diagnosis of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma
Dealing with the effects of Xerostomia (Dry Mouth) after receiving Chemotherapy & Radiotherapy treatment for Head & Neck Cancer
Living with the diagnosis of Laryngeal Cancer and the changes this brings
Diagnosed with a tumour in his nose, Peter tells of life after diagnosis
Diagnosed with a tumour in his nasal cavity, Andrew tells of life during and after surgery


Welcome to Get A-Head, the charity which works tirelessly to make life better for those suffering from head and neck diseases – particularly cancer – and those who care for them.

As well as funding vital research into the causes and treatments of head and neck conditions, we pay for education and training for health professionals working in the field as well as providing vital equipment and complementary therapies to make life better for patients whose lives have been damaged by these illnesses.

Any cancer diagnosis is tough, but when it affects the head and neck cancer can take more than your physical and emotional well-being – it can take the ability to speak, hear and see as well as take some of the facial features that make us who we are.

With your help, we can continue to improve lives and work to make head and neck disease a thing of the past.


Sharing information via lecturing on relevant courses, producing editorials and reviews in associated medical journals, assisting specialist training for nurses and other key personnel are all areas where Get A-Head can help.


Sometimes these developments are time-consuming and expensive. This is where we can help by funding specialist research fellowships into thyroid cancer and supporting the consumable costs.


Many of the larger, more specialised pieces of equipment just cannot be funded by the NHS, so this is where Get A-Head can help.

Our next event

Join us for one of our fundraising events

January 15, 2024
The Brightsides rowing crew has set itself a considerable challenge to row 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise £250,000 for Get A-Head and Meningitis Now. The challenge will see the four-strong crew row unsupported for approximately 50 days as they make their way across the Atlantic from Lanzarote to Antigua. 
April 21, 2024
The TCS London Marathon is the largest annual fundraising event on the planet – since it began in 1981, participants have raised more than £1 billion for good causes. Why not add to this amazing figure by running the TCS London Marathon for us at Get A-Head? We have several places for the 2024 Marathon; please get in touch with us to find out more.


Get A-Head works to improve life for people with head and neck diseases, but we can’t do it without you!

There are plenty of ways you can help, from organising a coffee morning or running a half marathon to raising money to help us spread the word about what we do. For more ideas, inspiration or information, contact us by clicking here.

Just check the upcoming events page to find an event to get involved in, or contact us to discuss a volunteering idea of your own.


Keep up to date with the latest from Get A-Head

Meet the intrepid London Marathon runners who will be pounding the streets of the capital on April 21, 2024 to raise vital funds for Get A-Head. 
Get A-Head today welcomed the Chancellor’s pledge to allocate more funding to medical research.