Scotmid Co-operative have raised an incredible £280,000 for men with prostate cancer - smashing the partnership’s original fundraising target of £150,000. The money will be put towards extensive awareness and research programmes aimed at saving the lives of more men with prostate cancer, the most common male cancer in Scotland.
The 2013/14 charity partnership with Prostate Cancer UK is the most successful in Scotmid’s history. Staff, members and customers from across Scotmid’s businesses – which includes Scotmid, Semichem, Lakes and Dales Co-operative, funeral branches and post offices – undertook a bumper year of fundraising challenges to smash their target. Over 15,400 charity pin badges have also been sold in stores.
As well as raising funds, an important objective of the partnership was to increase the awareness of prostate cancer amongst Scotmid’s customers and staff. During the partnership we held 50 information stands in Scotmid and Semichem stores, helping to reach 15,000 men. The visibility of the partnership in all Scotmid outlets has really helped get men and their loved ones talking about the disease, which is crucial if lives are to be saved.
Scotmid’s fundraising feats also included a zipslide across the River Clyde, a white water rafting race along the River Tay, an overnight cycle marathon in Edinburgh and a nationwide talent contest. A number of staff have also undertaken personal challenges including Karen Grant, Branch Supervisor at Scotmid’s Bishopmills store in Elgin, who shaved her head to raise funds.
At present almost nine in ten men in Scotland at higher risk of prostate cancer are unaware of their increased vulnerability and are therefore not having the vital conversations with GPs that could save their lives (YouGov Survey, 2014). Of the money raised £150,000 will go towards an awareness programme to help tackle this problem by educating more men about their risk of the disease. The remaining £130,000 will be pumped into pioneering prostate cancer research.
Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “The staff, members and customers of Scotmid Co-operative have put their heart and soul into this partnership, and the results are there for all to see. The ambitious fundraising target of £150,000 has been smashed, with an outstanding £280,000 being raised instead. Prostate Cancer UK is determined to make this terrible disease a thing of the past, and this record breaking sum will help us take another significant step towards this ultimate destination. We cannot thank Scotmid enough for its incredible support.”
John Brodie, Chief Executive of Scotmid Co-operative, said: “To raise a record amount for Prostate Cancer UK is absolutely outstanding, and I would like to thank all of our staff, customers and members for their support. It was the first time we have partnered with a charity representing a cancer that only affects men, but our staff were more than up to this new challenge. The vital work, and the very real difference that Prostate Cancer UK makes to thousands of men and their families affected by prostate cancer, has inspired our team to go above and beyond all previous fundraising achievements.”