Tuesday, 5 October 2010

What Goes Around Comes Around

In my last post I roundly slammed a plethora of Pinkwash products all aiming to part you from your cash by offering you the chance to support breast cancer charities. Now I am going to attempt to part you from your cash by offering you the chance to support breast cancer charities.

Yes, any of us can simply send a donation at any time with no more effort than a mouse click but, as the many breast cancer charities wisely understand, where’s the fun in that? That is why they are constantly devising innovative, crazy, silly, sociable ways to tempt you to get involved in fundraising.

Before I begin, let me say this: if you are currently undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, forget it. Now is your time to receive help, not to give it. Once recovered though, you may be itching to give something back in recognition of all the kindness and support that helped to get you through.

Here is a quick rundown of breast cancer charity fundraising events that you might want to get involved in:


Breast Cancer Care provides comprehensive information about breast cancer and its treatments. You can speak directly to a nurse by calling their helpline. Annual fashion shows in London, Cardiff and Glasgow are a great way to give with glamour. They also run a Carols by Candlelight service in December. Or get creative and organise your own Pink Friday.

Breast Cancer Campaign funds research into breast cancer causes and treatments. Organise your own event for Wear it Pink day.

The Haven provides caring, personally tailored support including complementary therapies and informative workshops at centres in London, Hereford and Leeds. There is an outreach programme for those who can’t get to one of the Havens. Amongst their fundraisers are challenging opportunities to do things like skydive from 14,000 feet (!), climb Kilimanjaro or ride a bike from London to Paris. More prosaic events include a Fish & Chips bingo night in Leeds and Fangtasia, a Vampire cocktail party.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer funds its own research centres as well as undertaking campaigning and education. They want you to Go Pink this October and organise your own fundraiser.

Walk the Walk raises money for a range of breast cancer charities primarily through their famous Moonwalks. Women (and men) take to the night-time streets clad in their brassieres.

The goal of Macmillan is no less than to “improve the lives of everyone living with cancer.” And they’re doing a great job of it. This huge charity provides a comprehensive database of information; a helpline; financial support; funds nurses and operates information centres in hospitals. Fundraising opportunities are too numerous to list, from the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ to the ‘Enchanted Ball’ at the Savoy

Yes to Life aims to promote an integrated approach to cancer care by providing support and information. We’ve just missed out on their Venice to Dubrovnik bike ride but you are welcome to organise your own event.


The National Breast Cancer Foundation funds research into breast cancer and its treatments. Their key fundraiser is the Pink Ribbon Breakfast – organise a team and get stuck into some competitive eating for the cause. They also have a page of fundraising ideas.

The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre “works in partnership with health professionals, cancer organisations, researchers, governments and those diagnosed to improve outcomes in breast and ovarian cancer” Their flagship event is the Pink Ribbon Lunch, held in Melbourne and Sydney.

Breast Cancer Network Australia works to provide information, support and advocacy as well as being involved in many policy decisions. Their website provides separate listings for ‘Key Fundraising Events’ as well as ‘Upcoming Events’ and an A-Z of fundraising ideas. One that caught my eye is ‘Pink Ladies – Women Make it Up’ an all women improv show in Sydney.

The McGrath Foundation promotes breast awareness amongst young women as well as raising money to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in local communities. Their most notable fundraising event is Jane McGrath Day, on which national cricketers wear pink during a test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The McGrath Foundation encourages supporters to dream up their own fundraiser with the help of a Pink-tionary A-Z of ideas. Forthcoming events are listed on an events calendar.

Cancer Council Australia funds research into all forms of cancer as well as providing information for patients and professionals. They also publish the National Cancer Prevention Policy. Amongst their Pink Ribbon Day fundraising events is an opportunity to ‘Volunteer a Day for Pink’. Simply enter your state and postcode. They will let you know what’s available.

Breast Cancer Care WA provides support to people with breast cancer in Western Australia. The charity eschews the ubiquitous pink in favour of purple. Fun fundraisers include a Purple Twilight Walk; Purple Bra Day and the Boobalicious Ball.

Gosh. I didn’t realise how extensive this would be. And I haven’t even begun on the USA and Canada. If I’ve missed out your favourite breast cancer fundraiser, please leave a comment.