Leading NI cancer charity Action Cancer will now be able to detect more breast cancer cases thanks to a renewed partnership with online car insurance firm its4women.
Its4women has committed to a three-year support package worth £180,000 to contribute to the charity’s Breast Friends campaign fundraising drive that appeals to groups of friends to raise funds for Action Cancer’s unique breast screening service.
Every penny that is raised during the Breast Friends drive, which took place in sync with this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8, will be matched by its4women.
This means the public fundraising goes twice as far and double the number of women benefit.
Its4women has worked with Action Cancer for three years and this renewed promise to match all public fundraising for a further three years, as well as a further £90,000, will mean more breast cancer detections.
Action Cancer’s breast screening service is unique in Northern Ireland and is available to women aged 40-49 and over 70 – those who fall outside the NHS screening age range (50-70).
It is always free to the user. However, each appointment costs the charity £120.
With no regular government funding Action Cancer is reliant upon community and corporate fundraising in order to deliver this life saving service, which is available both at Action Cancer House in Belfast and on board the Big Bus mobile screening unit, which travels to over 200 locations each year.
Its4women first partnered with Action Cancer in 2019 with a pledge to match all ‘Breast Friends’ fundraising up to the value of £30,000 per year, totalling a financial commitment of £90,000 from 2019-2021.
Even though the pandemic greatly affected the ability for the general public to fundraise, its4women generously stood by its pledge and donated the maximum £90,000.
To date the campaign has generated £124,527, enough for 1,208 screenings for local women.
Speaking about the partnership, its4women Marketing Manager Kerry Beckett said: “Our ethos is one of empowerment, that combined with the fact that Breast Friends has already raised enough to provide 1,208 women in Northern Ireland with a potentially life saving breast screening appointment, made it an easy decision to do it all over again.
“Knowing the generosity of the Northern Ireland public I am confident they will join us in raising these vital funds for Action Cancer.
“Its4women will match all Breast Friends fundraising until 2025 to a total value of £90,000.
“This means that together we have the ability to raise £180,000 which will equal 1,500 breast screenings for local women.”
For every 1,000 breast screenings Action Cancer detects six cancers.
This means that over the next three years the Breast Friends campaign will enable the charity to detect cancers in nine ladies who would otherwise go undetected if it were not for this fantastic service.
Action Cancer’s Public Fundraising Manager Leigh Osborne added: “The funding from its4women was pivotal in enabling Action Cancer to stay open and operational throughout most of the pandemic.
“Our cancer prevention, detection and support services continued for those who needed them and so did fundraising where possible.
“Prior to the Covid-19 restrictions Breast Friends fundraising was generated by coffee mornings, fashion shows and themed evenings that appealed to women’s interests.
“These weren’t possible for so long which is why I am thrilled that its4women has renewed its pledge to match a further £90,000 over the next three years.
“I look forward to a full term supporting the general public in organising these types of events that we have missed so much.”
Action Cancer is a local charity that must raise £4m each year in order to deliver its range of cancer prevention, detection and support services.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity has adapted its services so that these can be delivered online or safely face-to-face with the use of PPE and stringent sanitising measures (in line with government guidelines).
The charity is reliant on fundraising from the general public and local business community in order to deliver its range of cancer prevention and detection services.
With the lifting of most restrictions the demand for Action Cancer’s services is higher than ever before.
The charity has recently expanded its reach of therapeutic services and recruited two new counsellors for Lurgan and Newry and five new complementary therapists to cover Bangor, Newtownards, Newry, Londonderry, Coleraine, Downpatrick, Lurgan and Belfast.
n For more information on Action Cancer’s services call 028 9080 3344 or visit www.actioncancer.org
n To get your free Breast Friends fundraising pack call Leigh Osborne on 07928 668543 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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