Making a difference

Datesand have been assisting workers at Cancer Research UK in rewarding hard-working employees that really make a difference.

Tony Davidge from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute explains more below…

“Following a suggestion from a member of our AWERB (Animal Welfare & Ethical Review Body) it was agreed that we should look at a way of recognising and rewarding those everyday actions that staff do that are typically met with the reply of it’s ‘just part of my job’ but actually impacts on the animals in their care or their colleagues. It was agreed that it should be something that would be done on a timely basis so recognition was prompt and a small reward would be included. 

As most technicians run on a combination of caffeine and sugar, we felt that a free fresh ground coffee and freshly made cake would be a very quick and simple reward. Although, once consumed it could be easily ‘forgotten’, so we have included a commemorative mug picturing the recipient, date and the slogan of the now title ‘’I made a difference to a mouse’’ or shortened to ‘Imad’. To encourage nominations, it was agreed that the nominee would also receive coffee and cake – but the mug would remain exclusive only for the nominated individual.

Once we finalised the idea, we sought sponsorship. As we had already formed a working relationship with Datesand during an out-reach project with the Cambridge Academy of Science Technology Challenge Projects, we were very pleased that it was an initiative that Datesand said they would like to support. Not only were they willing to sponsor ‘imad’ financially but the superb design/marketing team were able to design a very professional mug, incorporating our various logos, the ‘I made a difference to a mouse‘ slogan and the winners photo (as we all know what happens with mugs in communal tea rooms).

To ensure impartiality and non-biased judging, one of our Senior Group Leaders who heads the Biological Steering Committee judges all the nominations and decides on the monthly winner. The nominations have been very competitive, so much so that we are currently investigating a means of celebrating a more encompassing larger ‘3Rs’ initiative and also recognising those efforts where actions have been more team players, than the original brief of a difference to a mouse.


The photo is of our first month’s winners, where Nimesh (Scientist) was recognised for the initial idea and both Michael (BRU) and Jack (Property Services) were jointly recognised for the effort that they both put in tracing and remedying a lighting concern within a holding room.  

So, a huge well done to the recipients and massive thank to Ryan and Jonathon for enthusiastically agreeing to sponsor and for the guys behind the scenes for their creative skills in designing the mugs.”

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