Charities united across the Irish Sea in the fight against breast cancer

Walk the Walk is delighted to announce that it is the Principal Funder of Action Cancer’s new and improved “Big Bus”, with a grant of £360,000.

Walk the Walk is uniting with a leading Northern Ireland charity, Action Cancer, who have been saving lives and supporting local people with cancer since the 1970’s.

We’re delighted to announce that Walk the Walk is the Principal Funder of Action Cancer’s new and improved “Big Bus”, with a grant of £360,000.

Action Cancer’s first Big Bus began offering a unique breast screening service for women across Northern Ireland in 2006. Screening was offered to women aged 40-49, as well as those aged 70 and over, who all fall outside the NHS range (50-70). After 15 years, that first bus has reached the end of its working life. However, the service it provides is still vitally needed, and Walk the Walk has stepped in to principally fund a replacement.

Grants of £50,000 each have also been made by The Garfield Weston Foundation, Ulster Garden Villages and The McClay Foundation. 

The new Big Bus will begin its first day of operations on Saturday 1st May and like the first vehicle, has been fitted out with ground-breaking 3D screening technology. It will travel to 200 locations across Northern Ireland, delivering 5,000 breast screenings and 2,000 health checks in the next 12 months. 

Gareth Kirk, Chief Executive of Action Cancer said:

“Action Cancer is absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with Walk the Walk, whose financial support has been vital in bringing our new and improved Big Bus project to fruition. This unique collaboration will have a lifespan of 15 years, the expected life of the Big Bus mobile unit. The support received from Walk the Walk will enable us to continue to bring our life-saving breast screening service to women living in some of the most rural and deprived communities of Northern Ireland. During the next 15 years, over 70,000 women will be screened throughout Northern Ireland and we estimate approximately 400 women, of which 80% will be under the age of 50, will have an early diagnosis of breast cancer and all other women screened will receive reassurance and peace of mind.”

Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said:

“I am delighted that as Principal Funders, this grant from Walk the Walk will help to keep the Big Bus on the road and saving lives. The work that Action Cancer does is unique, by targeting these two age groups, which are outside of the NHS screening age range.  The amazing 3D screening successfully picks up cancers as small as a pin head which are difficult to detect, particularly in the younger age group. This means that for many of these women the surgery needed may be less invasive and on occasion their treatment is not as severe on their bodies because the detection is earlier. This also means that chances of survival are massively increased. It is such an important service and I’m just thrilled that by putting one foot in front of the other, our amazing walkers have helped fund this wonderful legacy project that will help so many women in Northern Ireland.”

Action Cancer Ambassador Elaine Loughlin from Poyntzpass whose breast cancer was detected on board the charity’s original bus said:

I believe that Action Cancer’s Big Bus saved my life. At the age of 45, my breast cancer was detected at an early and treatable stage. Thanks to this free service provided by Action Cancer, I’m still here, still alive to be mum to my three beautiful boys; Ben (20), Toby (18) and Rory (12).” 

                  Elaine Loughlin

In the next year, Action Cancer’s long- term partners Musgrave NI will aim to generate £150,000 in fundraising, through its SuperValu and Centra stores and head office colleagues, to keep the wheels of the new Big Bus turning.

Click below for a guided tour of the amazing, new Big Bus, featuring Gloria Hunniford, Action Cancer's Patron and hear what Walk the Walk’s Founder and Chief Executive Nina Barough says!

Walk the Walk is delighted to be the Principal Funder of such an incredible project! Your support and fundraising really make a difference... sign up now for a Virtual Walk the Walk event here!



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