Celebrating five years of painting the town

Banbridge Action Cancer Group vonunteers are tickled pink to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Paint the Town Pink campaign
Banbridge Action Cancer Group vonunteers are tickled pink to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Paint the Town Pink campaign

This year the Banbridge Action Cancer Group is tickled pink to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Paint the Town Pink campaign.

Paint the Town Pink was created by the Banbridge Group in October 2015 as a fundraising campaign for Action Cancer as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Some of the Banbridge Action Cancer Group pictured at a Motorbike Ride Out

Some of the Banbridge Action Cancer Group pictured at a Motorbike Ride Out

The original idea was conceived by former Group Chair, Anne Hulme, who drew inspiration from the Giro D’italia that had taken place here 2014.

Anne had been inspired by the coverage she had seen of the leg of Italian cycling race which resulted in various places across Northern Ireland being decorated in pink. She believed the idea could be applied to an event for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a result, Banbridge’s now annual event, Paint the Town Pink, was born.

Since 2015 businesses in Banbridge have got involved by decorating their windows in pink, entering The Best Pink Window Display competition. Every year during the first weekend in October the town has been taken over by a flurry of street performers, a pop-up shop, Pink Walks and coffee mornings. In the first year a phenomenal £15,000 was raised over the pink themed weekend.

Current Chair of the Group Ann Jardine said: “Since the inaugural event in 2015 Paint the Town Pink has continued to grow year on year. Paint the Town Pink has now become synonymous with Banbridge and it is an event that local businesses and people continue to support and we are very thankful. This year we will be having a number of events in the town throughout October.”

Some of the Banbridge Action Cancer volunteers pictured at a Motorbike Ride Out

Some of the Banbridge Action Cancer volunteers pictured at a Motorbike Ride Out

On Saturday, Ocotber 5 there will be a Motorbike Ride Out from the Bannside Church car park and a coffee morning in the Bannside Church Hall. There will also be pop-up shop in the town

centre, children’s characters and music in the streets including Stephen Cairns, James Taaffe, Parcel of Rogues and more. Action Cancer’s Big Bus will be visiting The Boulevard for Breast Screening and MOT Health checks - pre-booking for this is essential. The main fundraising events at The Boulevard will take place over the weekend of Saturday, Ocotber 12 and Sunday 13. Events at The Boulevard will include a fashion show, best dressed shop window, The Dinosaur Man, DJ Greener, a treasure hunt for the children, a mega raffle for 5 luxury hampers and KellyFit to name but a few.

Mark Irwin-Watson, the Community Groups Executive at Action Cancer said: “I would like to thank the people and businesses of Banbridge for their continued support of the local Group in their fundraising efforts. The Banbridge Action Cancer Group was formed in 1984 and since then has raised a staggering £552,640 for the charity. Action Cancer simply could not provide our range of cancer prevention, detection and support services without the work of our volunteers and their dedication to the charity”.

Action Cancer operates the UK’s first 3D digital breast cancer and provides free breast screening to 10,000 women each year aged 40-49 or 70 plus (outside of NHS screening age range). The Charity also provides free health checks for men and women aged 16+ which includes blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol, and body composition analysis. Action Cancer also operates the ‘Big Bus’ which is a mobile screening service.

Banbridge businesses have got involved by decorating their windows in pink, entering The Best Pink Window Display competition

Banbridge businesses have got involved by decorating their windows in pink, entering The Best Pink Window Display competition

All of Action Cancer’s services are free to the user but the charity receives no external funding and exists solely through public fundraising. Furthermore, all monies raised for the charity remains within Northern Ireland and is used to help people here who are affected by cancer. As a result, fundraising by Community Groups such as Banbridge, through volunteering their time, are of vital importance to the charity.

The local Action Cancer Group, is made up of local people who volunteer to organise events and collections, and to raise the profile of the charity and its services. If you feel you’d like to make a difference locally then the Banbridge Group would be delighted to hear from you.

Contact Groups Executive, Mark Irwin-Watson on 02890 803344 or email mirwin-watson@actioncancer.org.