January 2022

The British Skin Foundation (BSF) is delighted to announce that our Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Patey, has been awarded an OBE – Officer of the Order of the British Empire – in the New Year Honours for services to research into skin cancer and other dermatological conditions.

Since its creation in 1996, Matthew, 52, has expanded this small charity, elevating it to an internationally trusted body, known for its commitment to skin health, advocacy and most importantly, quality research.

Under his leadership, the BSF has raised £17,000,000 for skin disease and skin cancer research, funding over 400 dermatological studies.

Commenting on the award, Matthew said:

I’m surprised and flattered to receive this honour for my work. When I first took on the challenge of raising money for skin disease research 25 years ago, dermatology was seldom discussed, despite millions of people suffering physically and mentally from skin conditions on a daily basis. The British Skin Foundation set out to increase public awareness and raise much needed funds for dermatological research and I am proud to have played my part in helping to fight skin diseases and skin cancer.

BSF Chair of Trustees, Esra Erkal-Paler says:

It’s fantastic to see Matthew Patey recognised for his long-standing commitment to raising awareness and vital funding for skin health and dermatological research. Not only is he highly regarded within the dermatology and research communities, he has also forged strong partnerships with some of the world's leading companies to advance public and private collaboration in skin health research and development. Through his passion and drive over the last 25 years, the British Skin Foundation has grown into the internationally respected skin research charity it is today.

Prof. Chris Bunker, Honorary Secretary of the BSF added:

This recognition is highly deserved. Matthew has worked steadfastly in the interests of dermatology patients for most of his career. In addition to his exceptional work for the BSF, he founded the Skin Health Alliance (SHA) in 2011 and has continued to be its successful Chair and CEO. For a fee, the SHA provides independent dermatological accreditation for skin products to give consumers confidence in their buying choices, with the reassurance that products have been independently verified as skin safe. The SHA contributes its operating profit to the BSF for onward investment in research – approximately £1.3M in total.

All the while he has contended cheerfully with the not insignificant health travails of being a renal transplant recipient. Indeed, he has additionally contributed signally to the workings of the British Kidney Patient Association. A truly lovely man, justly honoured.

The BSF plays an important role in the research community, often seed-funding ground-breaking studies that allow researchers to secure further grants. This opportunity provided to new and existing talent allows scientists to turn their ideas into larger, national projects that have the potential to help people across the country and even further afield.

Matthew has been instrumental in turning our once small charity into the go-to organisation for new and established research teams, the dermatological community, and members of the public and media looking for reliable skin health advice.

An Order of the British Empire medal is given out to British citizens for outstanding work or service.

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