The honorary degree recognises Lynn’s dedicated campaigning work for bowel cancer and for her award-winning journalist and broadcasting career which spans 35 years. She was nominated for the award by Maggie Lee, Former Governor, and Peter Kyle, Chair of Court of Governors at the University of Westminster.
Lynn Faulds Wood is best known as a consumer champion and campaigning tabloid journalist who has helped to bring about new consumer laws and standards, multi-million pound product recalls and facilitate the safer design of many products.
Faulds Wood’s advocacy on behalf of cancer patients complements the University’s cancer research work which is promoted through the Against Breast Cancer research unit, led by Dr Miriam Dwek. Her impressive journalism and broadcasting career also promotes the University’s top media department within the faculty of Media, Art and Design.
Faulds Wood said, “I’m delighted to be honoured by the University of Westminster which has such a strong track record in areas where I’ve been able to have an effect – including media, design and health research.”
Faulds Wood began her career at newspapers as a consumer investigator but in the 1980s she moved into television co-presenting BBC’s Watchdog with her husband, John Stapleton, winning a number of awards including ‘Consumer Journalist of the Year’, ‘Consumer Journalist of the Decade’ and two ‘Motoring Journalist of the Year awards’.
It was during this time when Faulds Wood was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer with 34% chance of survival that later inspired her to be a committed advocate for improving cancer survival. Following her recovery, she went on to make medical programmes such as Doctor Knows Best, a documentary on GP training in cancer symptoms that attracted an audience of over 10 million viewers and helped to change the way our GPs are trained. Britain’s doctors soon named her ‘Medical Broadcaster of the Year’.
Faulds Wood later decided to take a break from TV with the mission of saving lives from bowel cancer. Her successful campaigning efforts resulted in changing the official symptoms advice for the UK as well as de-stigmatising bowel cancer by talking about this neglected, common form of cancer in the media. For her contribution in this field, she was awarded a ‘European Woman of the Year’ title in 2006.
While she returned to the screen in the 2000s, she co-founded the European Cancer Patient Coalition, helped to set up MEPs Against Cancer and is credited with helping to get cancer on the official European Agenda.
Lynn remains active as a cancer campaigner and is currently co-presenting BBC’s Watchdog: Test House with Sophie Raworth.