Charity activist Stephen Sutton's legacy is the focus of forthcoming lecture

Jane Sutton CU Award

Jane Sutton collects Stephen’s honorary doctorate from Coventry University.

University news

Tuesday 09 June 2015

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The life and legacy of the late Stephen Sutton MBE - the acclaimed charity activist and blogger who raised £5 million for Teenage Cancer Trust – is the focus of a guest lecture at Coventry University this week.

Stephen’s mother Jane Sutton and representatives from Teenage Cancer Trust will be amongst the guests at the lecture, which will take place at the university’s city centre campus on Thursday 11 June 2015. Entitled ‘Stephen’s Story’ after the Facebook blog he created, the talk is open to the public and is free to attend.

‘Stephen’s Story’ will offer a poignant and moving account of the Burntwood-born teenager’s life and will provide an update on some of the projects that his crusading charity work helped to support – including a joint training programme between the university and Teenage Cancer Trust aimed at health professions working in teenage cancer care.

Stephen passed away in May last year at the age of 19. But following his diagnosis and throughout his illness he worked tirelessly to raise money for and draw attention to the unique needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer. 

After learning that his condition was incurable, Stephen resolved to live his life to the full and to inspire others. He set up his Facebook page in which he outlined his ambitions and fundraising targets, including a “bucket list” of 46 things he wanted to achieve in his life ranging from getting a tattoo to going sky diving.

Stephen went on to tick off a number of things on his list, fulfilling personal ambitions like taking part in a Guinness Word Record and, most notably, raising millions for Teenage Cancer Trust and in the process smashing his initial target figure of ten thousand pounds.

His positivity, humour and enthusiasm drew thousands of followers across the world through social media channels and his efforts garnered awards and international acclaim. But Stephen’s endeavours also made an impact at a local level.
In September last year, Teenage Cancer Trust announced that £1.2 million from the £5m funds Stephen raised would be invested to support vital research and education. In recognition of Stephen’s ambition to pursue a medical career, some of this money was used to create 50 scholarships in his name for professionals to undertake training on Coventry University's postgraduate certificate in Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Care.

Two months later in a mark of respect for his work, the university posthumously awarded Stephen with an honorary doctorate of science, accepted by his mother Jane who now returns to Coventry for this guest lecture about her son’s life and legacy. 

‘Stephen’s Story’ will be presented by Jane Sutton and a selection of speakers from Teenage Cancer Trust and will take place in in the Goldstein Lecture Theatre in the Alan Berry Building at Coventry University from 6pm to 7pm on Thursday 11 June. 

The event is free to attend but places must be booked in advance by registering online or by contacting Tanya Krekmanova on +44 (0)24 7765 8674 or via email

For further press information please contact Mark Farnan, marketing and communications, on +44 (0)24 7765 8245 or email

Teenage Cancer Trust
Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for the seven young people aged between 13 and 24 diagnosed with cancer every day. The charity builds specialist units within NHS hospitals that bring young people together to be treated by teenage cancer experts in a place designed just for them.

Teenage Cancer Trust wants every young person with cancer to have access to the best possible care and professional support from the point of diagnosis, no matter where they live. Traditionally treated alongside children or elderly patients at the end of their lives, young people can feel extremely isolated during cancer treatment, some never meeting another young person with cancer. Being treated alongside others their own age by experts in teenage and young adult cancer care, can make a huge difference to a young person’s experience.  

Teenage Cancer Trust relies on donations to fund all of its vital work. Find out more, get involved or make a donation at  

Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).