What is Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer?

Purple is the colour associated with pancreatic cancer across the globe. And in the UK, during November’s Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, landmarks and homes light up purple to put a spotlight on a disease that deserves more recognition. Shockingly, less than 7% of people with pancreatic cancer will survive beyond 5 years in the UK.

This year we are asking for light ups to take place on 21st November 2019 which is World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

Organised by individuals affected by the disease and by businesses who support raising awareness of pancreatic cancer, the act of lighting up a home or focal point in a village, town or city is a way to remember loved ones who have sadly died and to acknowledge those living with or beyond the disease.

We encourage everybody to visit the landmarks lit up purple in their local area and to take photos in front of them. Please do then share the images on your own social media as well as with us in our online gallery and help us to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer this November.

Thank you for your support.


This is an activity supported by the following UK based charities:

How do I organise a light up?

We have compiled an FAQ to help you along the way. If you can’t find the answer to your question here please .

As soon as possible as there are many other charity events taking place in November and throughout the year. Landmarks will get a lot of requests to light up, not just in purple, but many other colours which represent different causes.

Some landmarks will not be able to light up, such as listed buildings, those that have a partnership with one particular charity or without wanting a fee. Do not be disheartened. There are lots of other businesses that would love to get involved in raising awareness!

This year we’re asking you to organise light ups on World Pancreatic Cancer Day, which will take place on 21st November 2019. However, if this is not possible, we would also be delighted to see landmarks and homes light up purple on any day of November to show support for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

A phone call is always advisable, or check the website of the landmark (if it has one) for a suitable email address.

The best person to speak to will vary depending on the organisation but customer services, the operations department or the publicity department is a good place to start and they will be able to point you in the right direction. With smaller venues it will no doubt be the manager you need to talk to.

If you need help getting started you can use our template email/letter. It is also a good idea to make your email/letter more personal by sharing your reasons for taking part in the campaign and why it is so important to you.

That’s brilliant, well done!

Firstly, make sure you keep hold of the details of the contact at the landmark so that you can follow up with any questions. You can also keep their details on file for next year.

Please also provide the details of your light up by filling out this form and we will add it to our Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer map.

If you have organised for the building to light up way in advance make sure you get in touch again nearer the time, just to ensure it is still fine to go ahead.

There are various ways landmarks light up purple, whether it is covering their existing lights with purple filters or gels or sometimes it is as simple as setting a timer as it is part of their in-built lighting system. Lights can be hard to get to, so sometimes there are also maintenance costs involved aside from the cost of the filters/gels.

If the landmark is unable to cover the costs, which is completely understandable, then you could see whether a local business would sponsor the light up, and you could thank them publicly via your local press or social media.

If you think you can cover the costs yourself, that’s fantastic! These companies: Stage Depot and White Light Ltdcan provide you with information regarding installation and costs of filter/gels.

If it is very expensive, we recommend looking at alternatives in your area. You’d be surprised by how many places and different types of venues that would be willing to get involved.

Unfortunately, funding for gels/filters is not something pancreatic cancer charities are able to contribute to.

It would be wonderful if you could attend the light up of your landmark so you can take a photo (it gets dark early in November so you should be able to go along from 4/5PM). Or why not do a shout out on social media to see if any keen photographers in the area would be interested in going along to take a photograph for their own portfolio and would be happy to share it online? All participating charities would of course be happy to fully credit any photographers that are willing to support the cause.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on social media using #PurpleLightsUK.

Yes we can! There are various ways we can support you:

Once we’ve added the landmark to the Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer map we will promote your light up on participating charities social media pages.

If you post your photos on social media, use #PurpleLightsUK so we can share them with our followers.

Please also add your images to our online gallery.

There are a number of ways you can light up at home from dressing your window in purple fairy lights to putting purple filters over outdoor spotlights. Take a look at the online gallery from previous years for more ideas!

Tell us about your light up

Please tell us about your light up so that we can add it to our map.
You can select either personal light up, if you are lighting up your home, or landmark light up if it is public place that you are organising to be lit up purple.


Click on the map pins below to see where light ups are taking place on World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2019 and throughout November.

Find out what locations lit up in 2018 here.

Taking part in a light up? Remember to tag your social media photos and messages with


© 2014 Chris Heale

Submit your light up image

Taking part in a light up? Please submit your Purple Lights image to our gallery and remember to tag your social media photos and messages with #PurpleLightsUK.


Take a look at the fantastic photos of buildings, landmarks, home and gardens that have lit up for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month 2019.

Promote your light up

Now that you have arranged your purple light up, why not promote it so that you can help raise much needed awareness of pancreatic cancer?

We’ve created this handy guide to help you, as well as a media release template and editable poster.

If you are planning an event to coincide with your light up, you can also order lots of helpful Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month materials from the following participating charities:

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Purple Lights for pancreatic cancer campaign, please email us.