AN innovative project to raise awareness of the dangers of prostate cancer and to provide vital funds to fight the disease has been hailed as a major success.
In the UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives, which is why Burton Albion Community Trust and Queen’s Hospital joined forces to raise awareness and to boost the funds of the charity Prostate Cancer UK.
As well as a week of men’s health related activities, the Pirelli Stadium also provided free prostate cancer checks for men in the at-risk group – with the screenings fully booked.
The week kicked off on when Andy Garner, Burton Albion first team coach, dropped into an over 50s football session to answer questions and to champion the community screenings.
Jyoti Shah, consultant urological surgeon at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, visited the Pirelli Stadium and did a short community presentation on prostate cancer and men’s health to a room full of over 50s.
Jeff Stelling marched to Burton Albion with Paul Merson by his side as they completed one of the legs of the Sky TV presenter’s 10 marathons in 10 days, from Hartlepool to Wembley Stadium in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. Jeff was welcomed at the Pirelli Stadium by Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough, chairman Ben Robinson and the football club’s Prostate Cancer UK ambassador Damien McCrory.
The Brewers home fixture with Oldham Athletic was designated as the club’s official Prostate Cancer UK fixture, and the community trust organised a wide range of activities on the day with a pre-match bucket collection taking place supported by Burton’s Rotary Club and Round Table which raised more than £600.
Staff from Burton’s Queen’s Hospital were also at the game handing out leaflets and encouraging fans to sign up for the free check ups.
There was also a special group of flag bearers on the day who had all been treated for prostate cancer and the teams were led out by community champion Trevor Anderson - a volunteer and former patient at Burton’s urology department.
This was followed by a #FootballtoAmsterdam five-a-side tournament at St George’s Park with 12 teams from local businesses lining up alongside the Burton Albion Legends.
All the fixtures were played in a great spirit. However, it was the Burton Albion Legends team who won overall after a close fought final against Ashfield Health Care.
Most importantly, more than 100 men from across East Staffordshire, including Andy Garner and the chairman of Burton Albion Community Trust, John Jackson, all took part in the free prostate cancer screenings.
The screenings were held at the Pirelli Stadium and were undertaken by Burton’s Queen’s Hospital Urology department, led by Jyoti Shah, with volunteer support from Burton Rotary Club.
Burton Albion Community Trust Health and Inclusion Manager John Widdowson said: “The whole week was a fantastic success. We were really pleased to have led and organised a number of activities during our Men’s Health Week, which couldn’t have taken place without our partners and we would like to thank Burton’s Queen’s Hospital, Burton Albion Football Club, Burton Rotary Club, Burton Round Table and all those who have turned up and supported the week.
“The aim of the week was to raise awareness of prostate cancer and also raise some money to support the work which takes place locally and nationally. Over the week, we have raised in excess of £2,000 and more importantly delivered our message to more than 5,000 people in East Staffordshire.”
Jyoti Shah said: “We had a fantastic response to the initiative with all screenings all booked up.Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the western world. This campaign was about raising awareness and dispelling the myths and about how we can help people who have to go through that journey. I think we managed to achieve that through this innovative way of working with the football club.”
To discuss the work Burton Albion Community Trust does to support Men’s Health Week please contact John Widdowson on 01283 565938 or visit burtonalbioncommunitytrust.co.uk