Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Wear It Pink

Wear It Pink

As part of the mission of we aim to work with charities to help raise funds, to encourage participation in fundraising events and to support volunteering. As part of this process we are delighted to be able to support the Breast Cancer Campaign during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The charity funds breast cancer research projects across the UK and Ireland looking at all areas from screening and prevention to genetics and treatment. The charity is currently funding 115 projects worth almost £16million in 41 locations across the UK and Ireland.

Some facts about breast cancer in the UK:

* Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer
* Around 45,500 women and 300 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year
* One in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime
* Breast cancer is the second biggest cause of death from cancer in women
* In the UK, around 80 per cent of women diagnosed today will be alive in five years
* Age is the single most important factor; 80 per cent of all breast cancers occur in post menopausal women
* Genetic susceptibility in women accounts for up to ten per cent of all breast cancer cases.

You may not think you have heard of Breast Cancer Campaign but I am pretty sure you will know the pink ribbons that can be found at many supermarket and store checkouts. The fundraising effort goes on throughout the year but the highlight iswear it pink.

This month is supporting Breast Cancer Campaign by going PINK ourselves, as you can see!

The key date for your diary is 30th October when the campaign is asking everyone in the nation to wear it pink. To mark PINK OCTOBER here at ALL subscriptions to the magazine between 5th October and 11th will be donated IN FULL to the campaign. If you subscribe at £2.00 per month we will donate £2.00 – if you subscribe for the full year we will donate the full £18.00…it’s a simple as that!

WITH YOUR HELP we aim to raise over £2,000 for the campaign!

The charity, and therefore the vital research work that can be carried out, is entirely dependent on donations from individuals, businesses and corporate partners. With demands on our individual household budgets and on businesses growing and the strains of the recession we spoke to Liz Monks, the Director of Fundraising at Campaign to get her views. Liz has previously held positions at charities including the Terence Higgins Trust, Royal National Institute for Deaf People and Shelter. As head of the fundraising team at Breast Cancer Campaign, Liz is responsible for maintaining and developing existing income streams including corporate and individual giving as well as to develop fresh support for its research into the disease.

In these difficult economic times is it becoming harder to raise donations?
Yes, but the demand for research and services in breast cancer treatment has never been greater and we are finding that there is an awareness of integrated corporate responsibility in organisations. Some very large organisations will link up with a large media-friendly campaign, like the BBC’s Children in Need as a way to raise funds for the charity and also to raise their own profile. Others choose to link up with particular charities in response to the experiences of someone in their workforce or as a result of some local event.

Are partnerships important then?
Yes, lots of people have been affected by cancer, either themselves, someone in the family, someone they know. When choosing to support, for example an overseas aid organisation the involvement can often be more remote whereas our approach to partnership can be different, we find people are more engaged with what we are trying to achieve. Quite often individuals or companies will sign up to support a one off event or agree a year long sponsorship deal and we will find that at the end of that period they are still keen to work with us. It is by building partnerships that we can build long term relationships and ensure that we can continue to meet our obligations to the research establishments that rely on fundraising activities for financial support.

How do you decide what research to fund?
As an organisation we only fund research taking place in the UK and Ireland but we draw on expertise from all over the world in deciding which projects to support. When we get a request for funding we check with experts worldwide to make sure that the research isn’t already being undertaken elsewhere and to check that there would be demonstrable benefit from the proposed research. Once a project is funded it is subject to 6 month peer review. We are always working to ensure that projects represent good use of our resources. We are always conscious of the fact that every penny we direct into funding has been donated and that often the money was raised as a result of personal effort, running a marathon, holding a cake bake or suchlike. This personal effort strengthens our commitment to getting maximum benefit from all of the money raised in improving outcomes for those with breast cancer.

And you only support research projects in the UK and Ireland?
Yes, while we call on expertise from all over the world, some 2000 in all, we only fund projects based in the UK and Ireland.

Does any funding come from central government?
While the Government does fund its own cancer research programmes, Campaign doesn’t receive funds directly from the Government to support our breast cancer research. We rely entirely on voluntary donations for this. The Government does support the overhead costs associated with charity research through the Charity Research Support Fund, however this fund isn’t guaranteed in the long term and we are working with others to ensure that this is sustained and increased in the future.

Survival rates for breast cancer have improved significantly over the last 20 years. Around 80 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer today will be alive in five years time. This is largely due to increased awareness of breast cancer, the introduction of the screening programme and the successes of breast cancer research, which have led to improved treatments that are now available.

Breast Cancer Campaign has been part of this success and over the past 13 years the charity has awarded 261 grants with a total value of over £26 million to universities, medical schools and research institutes across the UK and now also in Ireland. It is currently funding 115 projects worth almost £16 million across the UK and Ireland.

We will carry on to work with the Government to ensure they continue to support research but the economic climate is not likely to change in the immediate future and this is why the donations people give are so important.

In our celebrity culture is it important to have famous names associated with fund-raising activities?
Our celebrity supporters are incredibly valuable to us as they greatly help to raise awareness of our research and the many events and activities that our supporters can get involved in. In today’s celebrity-focused culture, a famous face can really help to raise our profile and attract new supporters to ensure we are able to continue funding our vital breast cancer research. Our celebrity supporters give up a lot of their free time and we are very appreciative of their support.

So please get involved on 30th and WEAR IT PINK….and a reminder that to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month here at ALL subscriptions to the magazine between 5th October and 11th will be donated IN FULL to the campaign. If you subscribe at £2.00 per month we will donate £2.00 – if you subscribe for the full year we will donate the full £18.00…it’s a simple as that!

WITH YOUR HELP we aim to raise over £2,000 for the campaign!

Statement from Breast Cancer Campaign regarding Katie Price’s involvement in ASDA’s Tickled Pink campaign:
We recognise that Katie Price’s involvement in ASDA’s Tickled Pink campaign may have caused distress or offence to people affected by breast cancer, which was not our intention. Katie has been a supporter of Campaign, as well as ASDA’s Tickled Pink, since 2008 and we appreciate her contribution to our aim of funding research to beat breast cancer. We value supporter feedback as it is an important part of our development process and we will be evaluating all aspects of this year’s campaign to help inform future activity.

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