Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve our understanding of cancer and how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer. New statistics show that the ten-year survival rate for all types of cancers combined has reached 46.2%, compared with 23.6% 30 years ago. The efforts of volunteers and supporters continue to generate growth in income, allowing Cancer Research UK to fund its scientific ambitions as the UK's leading charity dedicated to cancer research.
There has been strong active support for Cancer Research UK and for its predecessor, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, in the Mellor area for many years. Indeed, the first three Mellor Open Gardens in 1992, 1995 and 2000 were organised for the charity by a small group of residents known as Mellor Friends of Imperial Cancer Research Fund.
An unexpected development then occurred with a connection to the RHS Flower Show at Tatton, which resulted in the creation of a small charity garden in 2001. Called The Mellor Surprise Open Garden, it was based on the topography of Mellor and the ethos of the open gardens event. Thereafter, the charities were merged to form Cancer Research UK. Five further gardens, three of them large show gardens, have since been exhibited for the RHS Flower Show at Tatton in order to help to raise the profile of Cancer Research UK in the north-west, as well as raising funds for the charity. Winning gold, bronze, silver and silver-gilt medals respectively, these were The Garden Quartet in 2003 (which also won best-in-show), The Opera Fan Garden in 2005, The Cancer Research UK Donations Garden in 2007, Thyme and Money in 2009 and The Shine Garden in 2011.
Mellor Parish Centre, which is also a charity, serves as the community centre in Mellor, in a Victorian stone building which formerly housed Mellor Primary School. Around the turn of the Millennium, Stockport MBC decided to build a new primary school for the village, as the old school's facilities did not meet modern educational needs, and the building reverted to St. Thomas' Church nearby. Subsequently, the building was partially modernised and converted to use as a community centre and small Parish Office for the Church. It now hosts a considerable number of cultural and social activities for all age groups, including art and theatre groups, dance classes, yoga, Brownies, Girl Guides, toddler groups, and karate sessions, as well as private functions such as wedding and birthday parties, and it provides meeting rooms for local organisations including the Mellor Archaeological Trust.
Despite the income generated by these activities, fund-raising events have to continue regularly, both to help to defray on-going maintenance costs, and to raise money for further improvements to its facilities, which in turn encourages more community use of the building.