100 Mile Easter Walk for Canaries Legend Grant Holt and Local Recruitment Agency ARC in Aid of Big C

Canaries legend Grant Holt has teamed up with local recruitment firm ARC to walk an incredible 100 miles in aid of Big C Cancer Charity, starting on Easter Monday.

Setting off from No1 Cromer fish and chip shop, at 5am on Monday 1 April, the group of three will be joined by local businessmen Richard Pearce and Sean Garrihy as they make their way on foot from Cromer to Norwich, via King’s Lynn, in a large C-shape. Stopping enroute at Morston Hall Hotel, Wells, Thornham, Hunstanton and King’s Lynn Town FC, the team will walk all day and all night to raise funds for the local cancer charity, arriving at Big C’s support centre in the grounds of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Tuesday 2 April.

Adam Miller, director at ARC said “Darren and I felt compelled to want to support Big C by raising as much money and awareness as possible. What the colleagues of this amazing organisation did for my family and I can never be repaid, we spent 3 weeks watching our Dad die. Big C understood this and made the most horrendous experience almost bearable, if that’s even possible. Thank you and we will always do our best to support!”

The five walkers are inviting anyone to join them for part of their walk, specifically between Cromer and Blakeney, from approximately 5-9am on Monday 1 April. Anyone is welcome to walk with them for all or part of this section, along Norfolk’s beautiful coastline. The team will be sharing progress updates and locations on ARC’s Instagram account throughout the challenge.

Speaking to Big C about his involvement in the challenge, Grant Holt said “Walking a long distance is not just a stroll; it’s a huge challenge that tests both mind and body. If you’ve ever covered 20 miles in one go, you’ll understand the true magnitude of this challenge. For those who haven’t, don’t underestimate it!”

ARC 100 Mile Walk

The Big C Walk is one of many events ARC is organising this year in aid of Big C, their charity of the year. Earlier this month they hosted a successful Big Cuppa fundraising event, baking and selling cakes in their Norwich and Ipswich offices. Following this walk, the local recruitment agency will be organising a charity golf day at Dunston Hall on Tuesday 4 June.

Adam and Darren Miller talking about their 100 Mile Walk fundraiser

Tom Holmes, Events & Engagement Manager at Big C said, “We can’t wait to cheer the walkers on during their challenge. It’s an incredible fundraising event showing ARC’s determination and drive towards supporting Big C. We couldn’t be more delighted to have been chosen as their charity of the year.”

Adam Miller from ARC shaking hands with Tom Holmes from Big C with a Big C logo behind them

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Family fun days with life-sized interactive games raise awareness on the importance of healthy eating and the signs and symptoms of cancer

A weekend of family fun days is taking place on 6-7 April in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, offering people the opportunity to learn more about their bodies, squeeze through a giant inflatable Big Bum and jump into life-sized educational arcade games as part of a health awareness initiative.

Big C Cancer Charity is working collaboratively with Freshly Greated arts organisation and Great Yarmouth born designer and artist Matthew Harrison on this educational event which includes a life-sized interactive game zone for all ages, inspired by classic arcade games.

Big C’s Big Bum will provide the opportunity for visitors to take a cheeky look inside the large bowel and learn about the fascinating human body, and the support team will be on hand to answer any questions.

There will be other special activities designed for children to increase their awareness of the human anatomy with the Endoscopy Services Team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and learn more on the importance of keeping active and eating well, with a smoothie bike for people to make their own fruit smoothies.

Two members of staff from the Endoscopy team at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital standing by a table of activities

Matthew Harrison, creator of The Actual Reality Arcade has developed the games which include Pac Man, Whack a Mole, Lazer run and Space Invaders, linking them to raising awareness on prevention, signs and symptoms, support and treatment of cancer.

Someone going through a Laser Run game crossing through ropes

The events which will take place at St Mary Magdalene Church, Gorleston-on-Sea on Saturday 6 April and Cobholm Primary Academy in Great Yarmouth on Sunday 7 April from 10am until 2pm, are being held in memory of Bob Adcock, well known and respected local resident and shop keeper on the Cobholm Estate, who sadly died of cancer in 2023.

Freshly Greated works with local people to create fun, exciting, and creative experiences in and around Great Yarmouth, funded by Arts Council England and led by the local community with their lead organisation Voluntary Norfolk.

Karen Jeremiah, Programme Director at Freshly Greated said “We are really keen to support the work of Big C and host events that are both informative and fun for these communities. The range of activities on offer will mean all local people can take part in a really interactive and engaging way.”

Cath Watts, Nutritionist and Health Academy Lead said “We are so excited to be working with Freshly Greated and Matthew Harrison on these events and have had so much fun planning them together! We very much hope that this fresh initiative really helps people understand the importance of looking after themselves understanding the signs and symptoms of cancer and knowing what to do if something doesn’t seem right.”

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Strictly glitter ball event raises over £5,800 for Big C

It was time for Big C to get the sequins out and the glitter ball ready on Saturday evening as a glamorous evening of ballroom and latin dancing was held at Hellesdon Community Centre on Saturday 2 March, raising funds for the local cancer charity.

Working with a talented team of dancers from Miller Dance Studios, Big C staff, volunteers and service users teamed up to learn a variety of routines, for a performance on the night.

The ‘Strictly Big C’ fundraiser was the brainchild of Lynn Miller from Miller Dance Studios. Lynn said “We wanted to use our love of dancing to support Big C. We’re so proud of all the couples that took part and are thrilled that the event raised lots of money and awareness for this important local charity.”

11 dances took place in total in front of a live audience and a panel of judges, before the top three couples were announced and the winner decided.

Jo Pendergast, who volunteers at Big C’s Timberhill shop, won the competition with her foxtrot routine and took home the first Strictly Big C trophy.

Strictly Big C 2024 winning couple

Jo said “It has been an absolute joy to be involved in Strictly Big C 2024. From learning the routines with my two dancers Paul and Becca and sharing the experience with the other participants on the night, it’s all just been amazing.

“I had a complete mix of nerves (this was way out of my comfort zone) and excitement on the evening. The event surpassed all my expectations – the room was full of happiness and brimming with love, I could not stop smiling the whole way through.

“Having my wonderful family and friends there to watch was very special and people have been so generous with their donations. 

“Big C has been such an important part of my life for the last few years, so winning was the absolute icing on the cake. I’m so pleased we’ve raised so much money to support such a wonderful charity!”

Strictly Big C winning foxtrot dance

Big C was delighted to have a huge amount of support from local businesses and organisations. Goldsmith’s Weddings & Events decorated the venue beautifully and kindly supplied a photo booth for people to enjoy and take home a souvenir from the evening.

Volunteers from Norwich & District Photographic Society (NDPS) took photos and videos throughout the evening and Norwich City College students offered their time to come and help get the dancers ready for the event with hair and makeup.

Bee Lawrence a L3 make-up artistry student said “We would love to thank Big C for this opportunity. Everyone was so lovely, and the dancing was fantastic! We all truly enjoyed this experience, doing the hair and makeup for some of the dancers. It was wonderful to be a part of such a lovely team even for just a couple of hours.

“All the makeup team were delighted to be of service for such an important cause. Cancer is a heart-breaking disease, and to turn it into a dance event to raise money and celebrate the wonder that life is, was a beautiful thing to experience.”

Strictly Big C couple dancing the cha cha cha

Local businesses and supporters also gave a wide variety of auction and raffle prizes including the Strictly Theatre Company, Kettle Chips, IC Travel, The Strand Hair & Beauty Salon, Booja–Booja, The Wallow Wine Bar and Miller Dance.

Kat Jarvis, fundraising & events coordinator at Big C said “We are so proud of each and every one of our Big C participants who took to the dance floor. They all worked so hard with their partners, and we’re absolutely thrilled with the amount raised from ticket sales, an auction and raffle as well as donations of support to the JustGiving page.

A huge thank you to everyone that helped make this event such a huge success and we can’t wait to start planning for Strictly Big C 2025!”

If you would like to support the Strictly Big C couples and make a donation, please visit the Just Giving page.

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Talk Norwich City fundraising efforts surpass £40k

A charity online raffle and auction which saw the Norwich City squad come together to raise funds for Big C Cancer Charity has raised £7,794. This recent achievement has meant that the Talk Norwich City (TNC) fundraising total has reached an incredible £41,274 since the duo started supporting the charity in 2019.

Chris Reeve and Jack Reeve, founders of the Norwich City fan channel TNC, have organised a variety of fundraising initiatives over the past five years, including a 24-hour watch-along, several Fantasy Premier League competitions as well as a variety of raffles and auctions.

The idea for ‘The Ultimate Norwich City Raffle’ was formed following the huge success of a Big C Charity raffle for a Sara signed shirt last year which raised almost £3,000.

This latest online fundraiser saw first-team players including Jonathan Rowe, Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Angus Gunn donate memorabilia such as boots, shirts and gloves to an online raffle which was launched to mark World Cancer Day.

The Ultimate TNC Raffle 4-28 February 2024

Four extra special items were then made available as auction items including a pair of signed, worn, Johnny Rowe boots and a match-prepared Kenny McLean Scotland shirt from their European qualifier Vs Norway.

Chris Reeve, co-founder of TNC said “It’s incredible to look back at how far we’ve come since we started supporting Big C in 2019. We never could have imagined that we’d be standing here now having raised such a vast amount. Huge thanks to the yellow army for all their support over the years – you all make such a difference, and we couldn’t have achieved any of this without you!”

Chris Reeve smiling at the camera, wearing a blue shirt

Tom Holmes, events & engagement manager at Big C said “We are totally blown away by the incredible support we have received from Chris, Jack and the Norwich City fanbase. ‘The Ultimate Norwich City Raffle’ was another huge success and a testament to how hard Chris and Jack work to support the charity. We are so grateful to every single Norwich City fan that gets involved in these events and to Chris and Jack for their never-ending dedication to Big C.”

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LILAC Raises Half a Million Pounds in Aid of Big C

Local fundraising group, LILAC (Ladies In League Against Cancer) has raised over £500,000 since it started supporting Big C Cancer Charity in 2005.

Ladies in League Against Cancer is a group of ladies raising funds for Big C Cancer Charity to support people affected by cancer and help their families and friends come to terms with the illness of a loved one.

The group was started by Theresa Cossey MBE and Gaye Youngman in 2005 as a voluntary fundraising group focused on fun and friendship, and raises funds to support the work of Big C.

In recent years LILAC has supported each of Big C’s Cancer Support Centres across the county, where they have funded a LILAC room, the most recent of which was the complementary therapy room at the new Norwich City Cancer Support Centre in Dereham Road, Norwich. Their fundraising efforts have also included funding a camera for UEA School of Biological Sciences, an annual student bursary at Norwich Research Park, projection equipment for the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) Oncology Department and supporting the hospital’s Boudicca Appeal.

LILAC Ladies outside at the Norwich City Centre on Dereham Road

Gaye Youngman, chair of LILAC said “When Theresa Cossey MBE and I created LILAC in 2005 we had no idea how it would grow over the years to enable us to raise such significant funding.  Our thanks go to the tremendous support we receive from our committee and our members, which enables us to continue each year with our programme of events and our support of the work of Big C, improving the lives of local people and their families affected by cancer.”

LILAC has announced that in 2024 it will support a 4-year PhD project in collaboration with Big C and the UEA Science Faculty, support the Big C ‘Nourish & Nurture’ nutrition and wellness programme as well as the creation of a Big C Family support programme in collaboration with the Jenny Lind Department at NNUH.

“We are incredibly grateful to LILAC for the tremendous amount of money they have raised over the years to aid Big C’s support for anyone in Norfolk and surrounding counties affected by cancer. The support services, equipment and research that has been funded by LILAC has made a great difference and will continue to do so now and into the future.”

DR CHRISTOPHER BUSHBY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE

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Norwich City squad come together to raise much needed funds

Talk Norwich City (TNC) has teamed up with Big C Cancer Charity to help raise money, with the launch of an online raffle and auction, which begins on 4 February to mark World Cancer Day.

Jack Reeve and Chris Reeve, founders of the Norwich City fan channel TNC have been working closely with a variety of first-team players to launch ‘The Ultimate Norwich City Raffle’. Memorabilia such as boots, shirts and gloves have been donated by players including Jonathan Rowe, Josh Sargent, Gabriel Sara and Angus Gunn, to help this worthy cause.

The raffle and auction will commence at 12.01am on 4 February, running through until 29 February at 8pm.

Chris Reeve, co-founder at Talk Norwich City said “We’re absolutely delighted to be going live on World Cancer Day with our most anticipated fundraiser for Big C yet – The Ultimate Norwich City Raffle!

This one time only opportunity gives the Yellow Army everywhere the chance to potentially get their hands on some incredible Norwich City memorabilia in the form of not just one, but three different bundles.

Chris Reeve and Jack Reeve Co Founders of TNC

We are thrilled to have four extra special items available as auction items including a pair of signed, worn, Johnny Rowe boots and a match-prepared Kenny McLean Scotland shirt from their European qualifier Vs Norway.”

The idea was formed following the huge success of a Big C Charity raffle for a Sara signed shirt which raised almost £3,000.

Kenny McLean with Chris Reeve

Chris said “We thought to ourselves, what if Sara’s teammates all came together to do one big raffle?! How much more could we raise?”

The support offered by each of these players has been outstanding, which, it is hoped will raise vital funds for local charity Big C, which supports people affected by cancer in Norfolk and surrounding counties. Special thanks go to Adam Idah, Angus Gunn and Onel Hernandez who were the ‘delivery drivers’ for so many of these items.

Details of the raffle and auction can be found by visiting Big C’s Charity Hive page below.

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Big C Uses New Health Academy to Promote Education around Cancer

Big C has launched its own Health Academy as part of the organisation’s Education Division and in line with NHS Core20PLUS5 initiative.

The objective of the Big C Health Academy is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer, the importance of early diagnosis, and provide greater understanding of the disease across health professions and in the general community.

The new Health Academy ‘houses’ the charity’s team of education experts including health education officers, nutritionists and personal trainers, who run exercise and nutrition programmes designed for those affected by cancer, including ‘Get Moving’, ‘Nourish & Nurture’, Walking Football, Seated Pilates and Yoga.

Within the academy, Big C is running a series of health events across Great Yarmouth and Waveney in collaboration with Norfolk & Waveney Integrated Care Board, to help people understand the signs and symptoms of cancer and the importance of attending screening appointments, to support early diagnosis. The events are diverse in the types of venues and activities which are on offer.

East Coast College will be among those benefitting from this free service, with a cancer awareness day on 30th November, inviting students from both the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft campuses to come along and find out more.

East Coast College Logo

Holly Chase, Assistant Principal at East Coast College, said: “Events such as these are extremely important for educating our students on the signs and symptoms to look out for in cancer and it will also equip them with knowledge to take back home and support family and friends too. We are delighted to be hosting the Big C Health Academy at our Great Yarmouth campus and know it will be a fantastic event for staff and students alike.”

Among the activities being offered will be Big C’s Big Bum; a giant inflatable walk-through exhibit showing the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, as well as fun activities on nutrition and a smoothie bike. There will be an opportunity to find out more about the importance of healthy eating, with low budget recipe demonstrations and a copy of Big C’s free cookbook ‘Essential Flavour’.

Big C's Big Bum at an event

“We are delighted to be working with East Coast College on this event. It is a great opportunity for us to get out into the student community within the Great Yarmouth area and spread awareness around cancer. Thank you to the team at East Coast College for all their hard work in helping put the event on.”

Cath Watts, Nutritionist and Health Academy Lead

The Big C team will be on hand to talk through any concerns people may have, with a private space for individuals wanting 1:1 support. There will also be a variety of leaflets to take away with further information.

Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations at Big C, said, “Although we are well known for our support and information services, people perhaps know less about our education programmes which we see as being equally vital to the work we do to help those affected by cancer in our community, now and in the future. We have ambitious plans for this element of our strategy and welcome interest from any corporate who would be interested in exploring funding of our activities.”  

Three woman smiling holding their freshly baked goods.

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New support for people living with secondary breast cancer

Leading research and support charity, Breast Cancer Now, is launching a new service with Big C in Norwich for people with incurable secondary breast cancer.

This follows a recommendation made by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) for more secondary breast cancer support in the area, after patients and staff took part in Breast Cancer Now’s Service Pledge programme to improve their breast cancer services.

The ‘Living with Secondary Breast Cancer’ group will bring together people with the disease to talk, listen and learn with others who understand the challenges that secondary breast cancer brings in a relaxed and supportive environment.

The free monthly group is the first from Breast Cancer Now in Norfolk and begins on Friday 10 November, 11am-1pm. The group will be held at our Norwich City Support Centre on Dereham Road.

‘Living with Secondary Breast Cancer’ sessions are facilitated by an experienced counsellor and every few months there is the chance to hear from an expert speaker on topics such as treatment side effects, fatigue and clinical trials.

3 people seated on easy chairs having a coffee and chat.

Dr Melanie Pascale, Director of Charitable Operations at Big C, said:

“We are really looking forward to working with Breast Cancer Now and launching the new group at the Norwich City Cancer Support Centre, which opened earlier this year. These sessions will offer much needed support for local people dealing with the challenges that secondary breast cancer brings and we know from our service users how important this support will be.”

It is estimated that over 61,000 people are living with secondary breast cancer (also called metastatic, advanced, or stage 4 cancer) in the UK. The disease occurs when breast cancer cells spread from the breast to other parts of the body, most commonly the bones, liver, lung or brain. While secondary breast cancer can be treated, it cannot currently be cured.

Susan Wood, Senior Manager, Secondary Breast Cancer Services at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“We are thrilled to be rolling out such an invaluable support service in Norwich to help us be there for people living with secondary breast cancer across Norfolk and it’s wonderful to be hosting these groups at the Big C Centre.

“Secondary breast cancer is full of uncertainties and people tell us that they often feel overlooked or forgotten once receiving the devastating diagnosis. Our Living with Secondary Breast Cancer group offers a warm, friendly space to share what’s on your mind with people who understand, to help people feel less alone, as well as provide vital support and crucial information.

“If anyone has any questions at all or would like to register to join the group please do get in touch with us at secondaryservice@breastcancernow.org or call 0345 077 1893.”

Joann Mcgrath, Lead Clinical Nurse Specialist for breast at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said:

“The breast cancer care team were so pleased that they took part in Breast Cancer Now’s Service Pledge Programme. It was so helpful to receive feedback about the experiences of breast cancer patients. We were able to reflect on and celebrate the areas that we felt we did well but also areas that we could improve upon, including support for patients with secondary breast cancer.

“With the involvement and guidance from Breast Cancer Now the Norwich secondary breast cancer group has come to fruition. The group will provide a safe place and supportive environment for patients to share any concerns and worries with facilitators and specialists. The group will also be an essential bridge from the NNUH to the community as a great deal of patients are living well with their disease and would like to meet other patients to talk about their experiences. The group is a big step forward in demonstrating that we have listened and validated our patients concerns and we are positive that the group will be a success going forward.”

Register online at breastcancernow.org/Living-with-Norwich or call Breast Cancer Now on 0345 077 1893.

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Success with Big C’s National Three Peaks Challenge

Across the weekend of 11th – 14th August 2023, Team Big C took on the National Three Peaks Challenge across England, Scotland and Wales. The last time Team Big C had taken on the challenge was in June of 2017 and the team this year were just as excited to take part six years later!

With their kits packed and prepared, the team of fourteen set of on the morning of Friday 11th August on their almost five-hundred-mile journey to Scotland to climb Ben Nevis first, the highest of the three peaks, sitting at 4413 feet above sea level! The climb was wet and windy the whole way, with many walkers slipping. Despite this, morale amongst the walkers remained high!

Following the descent, the team journeyed through the night to reach their second peak; Scafell Pike, towering at 3209 feet above sea level. Throughout the climb, walkers were only able to see a few feet in front of them with only their head-torches for visibility. On top of this, winds at the summit were reaching gusts of forty miles per hour.

Big C team members hiking up a mountain

When the team woke on Sunday morning, the only peak left to conquer was Snowdon in Wales, dominating the Welsh landscape with its magnificent summit being 3560 feet high. Members of the group said the views were incredible on their descent with the clearer weather.

People hiking

Following this on Sunday evening, the team enjoyed a well-earned meal and rest overnight, with their coach heading back to Norwich on Monday morning! On their return, the team were greeted and cheered on by some more members of Big C back in Norwich. Totalling over one thousand miles travelled and the three highest peaks in the United Kingdom conquered, many members of the group spoke about looking forward to a hot bath, bed and a takeaway awaiting them!

Despite the three peaks being a huge challenge with the minibus journeys, tiredness, and physical exertion, we had so much fun as a group and I have made some friends and memories for life. Thank you to Big C for organising the event!

Cath Watts, Big C’s Nutritionist and Health Academy Lead

This event also would not have been possible without the generosity and support of Wright’s Coaches, Solar Signs and Graphics as well as DMD Installations.

The total raised through the challenge sits at £13,559, an incredible total for an incredible challenge!

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Rosina Plane Launches New Crochet Pattern in Aid of Big C

Local Crochet Designer, Rosina Plane is launching a new Christmas ‘Crochet Along’ pattern raising funds for Big C, in memory of her cousin Sonia, who sadly died last year.

Rosina said “I have never known anybody more kind and generous than my cousin Sonia was. She absolutely loved Christmas but was tragically taken from us by cancer just a few days before Christmas 2022. I hadn’t originally intended to do a Christmas CAL (Crochet Along) in 2023, but I would really like to try to raise some money for a local cancer charity in Sonia’s memory.”

The pattern, ‘Sonia’s Holiday’ is being sponsored by Stylecraft Yarns, and for every purchase of the pattern on Ravelry, a community site for knitters and crocheters, £2 will be donated to Big C.

Kat Jarvis, Fundraising Officer at Big C said “We’re absolutely thrilled that the talented Rosina Plane has offered to help raise funds through the sale of her beautiful pattern. Any money raised will go towards helping local people affected by cancer in Norfolk and surrounding counties, whether that’s through 1:1 support, counselling, our health and wellbeing programmes, or simply a listening ear.”

Rosina is well-known for her graphic patterns which work particularly well in the mosaic technique, and she is the founding member of the popular Facebook group, Mosaic Crochet World.

‘Sonia’s Holiday’ is a 6-part CAL (Crochet Along), worked using the overlay mosaic crochet technique. If you haven’t tried mosaic crochet before, it’s much easier to do than it looks, as basic stitches are used, and there are no mid-row colour changes.

The pattern was launched on 12th October. Part 1 will be available on 27th October and each subsequent week, Rosina will add the pattern for a different part of the design to Ravelry, starting with Christmas crackers, then trees, candles, bells, wreaths and angels, and ending with a beautiful fairy lights envelope border.

Each part includes clearly marked charts and full written instructions. Videos on Rosina’s You Tube channel will explain the pattern each week in more detail as well as the basics of mosaic crochet for anyone new to the technique.

To be in with a chance of winning one of four yarn packs to make ‘Sonia’s Holiday’ CAL, visit Big C’s Just Giving page below.

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