SuperValu and Centra are celebrating after raising a staggering £200,000 for their long-term charity partner Action Cancer following a year-long programme of fundraising activity.
Caring customers donated generously to a range of fundraising initiatives, supported by SuperValu and Centra retailers and their staff, who are committed to helping the charity keep its mobile detection unit the Big Bus on the road, saving lives across Northern Ireland.
Desi Derby, Director of Marketing for SuperValu and Centra, commented: “Over the past few years we have been faced with one challenge after another – first the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis.
“But against the odds, and thanks to the ongoing commitment of our retail partners and staff, our colleagues, and of course our loyal and generous shoppers, we have raised the most we have ever raised in one year, bringing our overall contribution to Action Cancer to £3.7 million.
“Sadly, we all know someone who has been affected by cancer and that makes us all the more determined to do what we can to ensure Action Cancer can continue to provide their vital life-saving services to women across Northern Ireland.
“We’re looking forward to marking Action Cancer’s 50th anniversary with a renewed vigour for fundraising.”
Gareth Kirk, Action Cancer CEO, added: “The £200,000 raised in 2022 is incredible, a huge Action Cancer thank you and gratitude to all at SuperValu and Centra and its amazing customers, who despite the current financial situation, have once again given so generously.
“SuperValu and Centra are our longest and one of our most important partners.
“Their support makes it possible to operate the Big Bus and its services – our partnership works so well because of our shared values – planning hand-in-glove, making a difference to the lives of local people and communities.”
Working together throughout 2022, the Big Bus with its onboard life-saving breast screening (for women aged 40-49 and 70+) and health checks (for men and women aged 18+), visited almost 100 communities across Northern Ireland.
It provided reassurance to women in these locations and also detected early-stage breast cancers in 10 women, with no symptoms.
Some 300 people were also referred to primary care for further investigation as a result of their health check.
In 2023, Action Cancer’s 50th anniversary year, there are exciting plans for services onboard the Big Bus, made possible by the ongoing commitment of Musgrave NI.
Action Cancer Ambassador Sinead Hoben, from Newry, who has availed of the free breast screening service onboard the Big Bus, and whose cancer was detected by the charity, shares her experience: “Since turning 40, I have routinely gone for breast screening appointments at Action Cancer, both onboard the Big Bus and at Action Cancer House.
“Following my fifth screening in March 2019, at the age of 48, I received a letter from Action Cancer saying the mammogram had picked up something and needed further investigation.”
After attending a breast clinic at her local hospital, Sinead discovered she had breast cancer.
“Because I had been going for regular screenings, the cancer was detected early, and I did not need radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
“I am living proof that the early detection screening at Action Cancer saved my life.
“I’d definitely recommend women in their 40s and over the age of 70 to make an appointment on the Big Bus today.”
To reach the fundraising total of £200,000, initiatives from the retail brands included an International Coffee Day when SuperValu and Centra retailers pledged 50p from the sale of each Frank and Honest coffee purchased over three days to the charity, raising £17,000.
The brands also called on shoppers to ‘sponsor a mammogram’ and raise £120 per store – the amount it costs for Action Cancer to provide one woman outside of NHS screening age with a free breast screening appointment.
The Centra Run Together series was back with a bang with the finale in Ormeau Park, Belfast, welcoming over 800 participants and £20,000 raised across the events.
SuperValu was proud to sponsor Breast Foot Forward in June when Belfast’s City Hall was a sea of pink as participants took on the 5k and 10k routes around the city.
Meanwhile, stores across the country also took part in many fundraising activities of their own, including competitions, raffles and quiz nights.
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