2014 has started with a bang for us in the fundraising team. With Men United v Prostate Cancer launching in January we've had a wave of new fundraisers wanting to get involved. From bake sales to all over body-waxing, our new supporters are thinking up lots of creative ways to support the cause. However, as well as these great ideas, one thing we really need to do at the moment is recruit volunteers to join our pitchside army and help collect at the 72 football league grounds across the country in March. So sign up for a match now!
The fantastic opportunity to bucket shake at a Football League game is a result of our partnership with the Football League and we are calling on football fans across the country to pick up a bucket, don a scarf and help us in our fight against prostate cancer. For me, it's one thing to make sure every ground has its fair share of buckets, tabards, pin badges and leaflets (actually thanks mostly go to my colleague Gemma for that!) but it's finding the supporters to make sure we have someone collecting at every fixture, that's the most challenging task. Last year we managed a successful campaign and I had the pleasure of collecting at two very different stadiums when I attended the Football League final in March between Swansea and Bradford (over 80,000 fans) and Leyton Orient who outplayed Bournemouth to win 3-1 in front of a more modest 4000. Despite the difference in crowd size, the warm support we received remained the same as supporters offered encouragement and took time out to share their personal stories. Some were undergoing treatment, some had recovered and others had experienced losing a close friend or relative. The overall generosity of the fans and the openness in which people shared their own personal connections with the disease was at times overwhelming, and was a good reminder to me of how important our work is. They also shared our belief that by having a presence at all these football grounds, we were making a big difference and reaching a wider audience. Last year our football league collections raised £45,000 but on top this we estimate that we reached out to over 500,000 people. Creating more awareness of prostate cancer is paramount to making sure that we can support men affected by it, and raise funds to find more reliable tests and treatments for the future. So if you are reading this and like the idea of joining our team and becoming one of our bucket collectors at your local Football League club please sign up and be part of our army. You’ll hear some heartfelt stories, get to watch the match, raise money and make my colleague Gemma a very happy person. Of course, if you'd prefer to do a sponsored body wax - we'd love to hear from you too!