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Whale Wins 'Best Shop Theme' Award at Big Shops' Showdown Celebration Event

Ivan McMinn (left), Board member at Cancer Focus NI and Hilary Hanberry (right), Communities Manager, Business in the Community present Claire McCrea and Hayley Magill from Whale Pumps with their award.

Whale Pumps has raised £6,500 for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland as part the ‘Big Shops’ Showdown’, a one-day charity shop takeover challenge.

The Big Shops’ Showdown, organised by Business in the Community, encouraged business volunteers to step outside the office for a day in April, to take over the running of one of Cancer Focus NI’s charity shops. There was an element of friendly competition, with each team competing to raise as much money as possible, both on the day and in the run up to the challenge.

The results were revealed at a special celebration event on 11 May. Whale Pumps won the award for best shop theme. Awards were also given for the best design for a Bag for Life, window display and judges’ choice. The overall total raised for Cancer Focus was an impressive £52,945.

Roisin Foster, Chief Executive, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of the Big Shops’ Showdown. The fundraising total surpassed all of our expectations and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work that has gone into the fundraising at each shop. I’d like to say a big thank you to every company that took part. They have not only raised much-needed cash but they have also helped to raise awareness of the work that we do.”
“Every penny raised will stay here in Northern Ireland to provide vital support services for local people including family support, counselling, art therapy for anyone affected by cancer, a NurseLine and a bra-fitting service for women who’ve had breast cancer.”

Andy Nisbet Friel, Communities Executive, Business in the Community, said: “We are really pleased with the results of the 2018 Big Shops’ Challenge. The companies involved are committed to doing business responsibly, and this employer supported volunteering challenge offers multiple benefits – enabling employees to take on and project manage the challenge, using their skills and wits to fundraise, get creative in managing and promoting ‘their’ shop and raising awareness of Cancer Focus NI’s services throughout Northern Ireland. It’s hard work but great fun and of course some healthy competition.”

Claire McCrea from Whale Pumps commented: "We are very proud to win the Big Shops’ Showdown.  At Whale Pumps, we truly believe in the power of volunteering and the good it can do, both for volunteers and the community. We thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the challenge and would highly recommend it to other employers. Volunteering is a great way for businesses like ours to help to make a real and tangible difference to the communities in which we operate."

Other companies who took part were: Allen & Overy, Arthur Cox, Baker McKenzie, FirstSource, Frylite, Healthy Built Environment, JP Corry, Progressive and Qualitrol.

Cancer Focus NI Shops involved in this year’s challenge were: Ballyhackamore, Ormeau Road and Lisburn Road in Belfast; Ballymoney; Banbridge; Bangor; Coleraine; Holywood; Limavady; Lisburn; Newtownstewart.
For more information, please contact Andy Nisbet Friel on (028) 9046 0606 or visit www.bitcni.org.uk/community-resilience