Northern Ireland turns pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October

Former Lord Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating smiles with representatives including Anne Hume from Paint the Town Pink, Action Cancer Banbridge.
Former Lord Mayor, Councillor Garath Keating smiles with representatives including Anne Hume from Paint the Town Pink, Action Cancer Banbridge.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Northern Ireland – on average every year 1,333 are diagnosed and 310 lose their lives,

To mark the importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Northern Ireland will join the rest of the UK in holding dozens of events which will help raise vital funds for groundbreaking local research.

West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week (Credit: Brendan Gallagher)

West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week (Credit: Brendan Gallagher)

The Outlet is supporting Banbridge Action Cancer Fundraising Group’s Paint the Town Pink charity event on Saturday October 14, with a range of on-site activities including a raffle, face painting and appearances from family favourite superheroes Spiderman and Batman.

The action packed day of fun boasts a programme of entertainment on site with all proceeds going to Action Cancer, which will include in-store offers, luxury hamper raffles, facepainting, a penalty shoot out plus music from Alice Millar and James Taffee.

Chris Glover, who works in the Marketing Department at The Outlet, explained, “Pauline Tipping, the Retail Operations Manager, has done such an excellent job arranging this event, working with Action Cancer and Paint the Town Pink for the second year running.

“Everything we are putting on is free and lasts all day, and loads of our stores are putting on extra discounts. Tickets for a chance to win one of our five luxury hampers (which have a retail value of up to £500) cost £1, with all of the sales going towards Action Cancer.

Photo from #WCCBFW launch. Director of West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week, Cathy Martin, is a passionate supporter of breast cancer awareness and is hosting Style Sunday this October 29 in support of Action Cancer - where there will be catwalk looks and makeup tips from Illamasqua.

Photo from #WCCBFW launch. Director of West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week, Cathy Martin, is a passionate supporter of breast cancer awareness and is hosting Style Sunday this October 29 in support of Action Cancer - where there will be catwalk looks and makeup tips from Illamasqua.

“The Outlet wanted to get involved after Paint the Town Pink transformed the town into such a fantastic community event which sees everyone getting involved and showing such amazing support. We knew we had to help out and we can’t wait to do it all again this year!

“We have all known somebody - whether it is a relative or a friend - who has been affected by cancer. I myself lost my grandmother to cancer when I was 10, and I think having such a large scale event promoting the awareness of it, just brings it home to everyone to get checked. The earlier you detect breast cancer the quicker you can get treatment and hopefully make that transition to getting better again.

“Unfortunately my grandmother passed away because it was detected too late. That was sadly because as she was older, she simply wasn’t aware of the signs and didn’t have the information to get checked. Putting on events like this and getting the awareness out there really helps put it to the forefront of people’s minds.”

Anne Hume became a member of the local Banbridge Action Cancer Group in 1986 after her mother tragically lost her fight against breast cancer at the age of 52 in 1985, “The idea of Paint the Town Pink actually came to me in a ‘light bulb’ moment four years ago.

“I saw coverage of the Italian cycling race Giro d’Italia. It showed pictures of various items that had been painted pink for the race here in Northern Ireland and I thought instantly that we should could decorate our town pink for breast cancer awareness month and call it Paint the Town Pink - and so the process began.

“We wrote to every business in Banbridge and got them all onboard. We asked them to decorate their windows in pink and we had a Best Pink Window Display competition. We had musicians on the street, a pop up shop, and a Pink Walk followed by a coffee morning. In the first year we raised £14k in Banbridge in one weekend.

“Action Cancer were so impressed with the event that they decided to roll it out across the province and introduce it to other towns.

“Over the past three years Banbridge Action Cancer has raised a massive £74k through Paint the Town Pink alone. This year we would like to see that figure increased to £100k.

“Anyone interested in getting involved in Paint the Town Pink should contact head office on 90803344 for further details.”

Pretty ‘n’ Pink, one of Northern Ireland’s leading breast cancer charities, will also be holding a series of events throughout October including the Annual Gala Ballon Saturday, October 14 in the Clayton Hotel, Belfast. Visit prettynpink.org for more information.

Meanwhile Cathy Martin, Director of West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week, is also a big advocate of breast cancer awareness in Northern Ireland and on Sunday, October 29 from 2pm - 5pm is hosting a four course fashion luncheon including runway shows and makeup tips from Illamasqua in support of Action Cancer. Visit belfastfashionweek.com for the full schedule of shows.