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Scotmid and Prostate Cancer UK raise record £280,000 for pioneering research and awareness programmes

Press Release   •   Sep 16, 2014 09:00 BST

Edinburgh based Scotmid Co-operative and 2013/14 charity partner Prostate Cancer UK have raised a record breaking £280,000 - nearly double 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 Prostate Cancer UK charity partnership 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 – have undertaken 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 Scotmid’s partnership with Prostate Cancer UK was to increase the awareness of prostate cancer amongst Scotmid’s customers and staff. During the partnership Prostate Cancer UK 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 been hugely beneficial in getting men and their loved ones talking about the disease, which is crucial if lives are to be saved.

Scotmid’s fundraising feats have 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 (1). 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.”

The announcement comes during Prostate Cancer UK’s national campaign, ‘Men United v Prostate Cancer’, which uses the language of sport to engage men in the battle against the disease. To get involved visit: www.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • (1)A YouGov survey showed that almost nine in ten Scottish men (86%) at increased risk of prostate cancer are unaware that their chance of developing the disease is higher than average. 80% of these men at greater risk admit that, even if they had been aware but didn’t have any symptoms, they wouldn’t speak to their GP about it – a dangerous position to take for a largely symptomless disease. Total sample size was 504 Scottish adults, of which 218 were ‘at risk’ men. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th January and 4th February 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Scottish adults (aged 18+).

About Prostate Cancer UK

  • Prostate Cancer UK fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. We support men and provide vital information. We find answers by funding research into causes and treatments. And we lead change, raising the profile of the disease and improving care. We believe that men deserve better.
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer. One in four black men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
  • Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK's confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visit www.prostatecanceruk.org. The helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and 10am - 8pm on Wednesdays.

Men United v Prostate Cancer – The Facts:

Men United v Prostate Cancer is our call for men to join together in a movement against the common enemy of prostate cancer. The aim is to build a united front of men against this disease. We want to get the message out about the most common cancer in men, support men affected by it, and intensify the search for more reliable tests and treatments for the future.

Men are being asked to sign for Men United by visiting www.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited where they can also test their health knowledge by taking a quick quiz.

The core audience is men over 45 who urgently need to know about this disease, and to do something about it. Men United is not exclusively for men. This is a movement for men, but women will be critical supporters and activists within it. However the core idea is that men are very consciously facing their health and banding together to right a wrong.

Whether they’ve been diagnosed or are simply concerned about prostate cancer, men can find out about the disease at www.prostatecanceruk.org.

About Scotmid Co-operative

Scotmid Co-operative is Scotland’s largest independent co-operative society and has been at the heart of local communities since 1859. The Society employs nearly 5000 staff in 350 retail and service outlets across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England. This includes Scotmid Food, Semichem, funeral branches, post offices and a property division. The Society is owned, managed and governed in Scotland and as a co-operative is democratically controlled by its members.