BRAVE Vivienne Martin is using her battle with cancer to help transform the way patients are treated in North Wales.

The Assistant Principal for Land-Based Studies and Additional Learning Needs at Coleg Cambria has fought breast cancer twice in just seven years.

She returned to work in January and is back to full fitness but is aware the condition could return one day, and prepared if it does.

Vivienne’s determination and drive saw her chosen by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to become a spokesperson for its new partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support – Transforming Cancer Services Together – which will initially focus on breast, lung, colorectal and urological cancers.

The campaign aims to redesign current processes and provide better care and support for patients in response to the Wales Cancer Patient Experience Survey, which found that while most people diagnosed with cancer in North Wales had a positive experience, there was room for improvement.

The 56 year-old attended the launch in St Asaph and spoke of the need for better communication and coordination of care.

“I felt I wasn’t receiving enough information and it meant I had to telephone around to find out what was going on,” said Vivienne, from Abergele.

“The predominant issue was around communication and efficiency; the hospitals do amazing work and saved my life twice, so I want to help them further improve for people who go through it in the future.

“Had I not asked questions or clarified, things may not have run so smoothly.”

Richard Pugh, Head of Services (Wales) for Macmillan Cancer Support, added: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to fund this innovative £900,000 programme thanks to the public’s generosity.

“Transforming Cancer Services Together aims to improve cancer care for people living with the most common cancers in North Wales and the programme is part of the £6 million Macmillan’s invested in cancer services in the area since 2010.”

Vivienne found she had cancer for the first time a month after her 49th birthday and could not believe it when doctors gave her the news.

“I just wouldn’t accept it, I’m a positive person and refused to believe it, despite the results being 95% certain,” she said.

“I was taken to Llandudno General Hospital and they moved really fast in operating and removing the lump, which was around 55mm in diameter. I was very lucky.

“What followed was quite a dark time, endless scans at Bangor and chemotherapy and radiotherapy in Bodelwyddan, but the staff were brilliant, I’ll always be thankful for that.”

Vivienne added: “I was recovering well, so to find that I again had breast cancer last year was a hammer blow. It was another primary cancer so fortunately they again acted quickly and that meant I didn’t have to go through chemotherapy, which was a huge relief as it took me five years to really get over the last time.”

Returning to Cambria’s Northop campus earlier this year, Vivienne was asked to oversee the college’s new-look charity and volunteering appeal, Calon – Charity in Action.

This year’s nominated cause is the British Heart Foundation, and there will also be a fresh approach toward participation among students, staff and the community.

“My role at the college is still the same, with responsibility for land-based studies at Northop and Llysfasi, additional learning needs provision and now Calon, which is an amazing new project we all support,” said Vivienne.

“It’s been good for me personally as I have always enjoyed helping charities, and given my own battle with cancer it has given me a renewed focus and drive.

“For me the glass is always half full, I love my job and the support I’ve had from my colleagues, the college and students has been overwhelming.

“I’m up for anything that helps raise funds for people who need it most and we have big plans in store for the year ahead so we hope people in North Wales will get behind us.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page