An independent retail group has raised almost £50,000 in just one week to put towards keeping Action Cancer's Big Bus cancer screening service on the road.
SuperValu is a community partner of the leading cancer charity which operates the state-of-the-art mobile cancer screening and health promotion unit which was launched just over a year ago.
The Big Bus is costing £1.5m over the first three years, with £612,000 of that figure being funded by SuperValu. Since the retail group came on board as sponsor of the service, stores have raised over £400,000 towards the cost of the unit.
During a recent seven-day fundraising blitz, customers and staff at the 36 SuperValu stores in Northern Ireland raised cash towards the annual running costs of the service. In its first year, around 4,500 people used the Big Bus' early detection, cancer prevention and support services housed on the Big Bus, at over 200 different locations. Around 2,870 women were screened for breast cancer with a total of 270 of those women referred for further investigation.
Action Cancer is the only charity to offer breast screening services for women aged 40-49 and over 65 who fall out of the NHS screening range.
Nearly 80% of women screened said they had never had a mammogram before and 32% wouldn't have gone anywhere else for the service.