Lisburn Action Cancer Group launches new Big Bus - offering life saving breast screening

Lord Mayor of the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Cllr Nicholas Trimble, joined Helen Nevison, Chair of the Lisburn Action Cancer Group, to launch the new Big Bus.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 11:18 am
Helen McNevison Chair of the Lisburn Action Cancer Group and the Lord Mayor of Lisburn

The new state-of-the-art Big Bus replaces the old vehicle, which for nearly 15 years, has successfully delivered free life-saving breast screening and health check appointments across Northern Ireland. In the last five years the previous bus visited the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area 47 times providing 1,081 breast screenings for local women.

Helen said: ‘‘We are delighted to promote the arrival of the new Big Bus which has been such a support to local people for the last 15 years. Lisburn Action Cancer Group has been fundraising since 1999 and raised almost £870K during that time, so it is thanks to the generosity of local people that this new Big Bus has become a reality.’’

Action Cancer must fundraise £3,000 for every day the bus is on the road and needs support from the general public to ensure the wheels keep turning. As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, the Lisburn Group are looking forward to the return of some of their annual fundraising activities.

Helen continued “Our group is always looking for new members. No matter if you can give one hour a week or one hour a month, any help is always welcomed! If your business can take a collection box or if you can hold a one-off fundraising event, please get in touch we are grateful for all your support. Please help Lisburn Action Cancer Group to keep the wheels of the bus rolling for at least another 15 years”.

In March the Group was delighted to have been the recipients an award for their contribution to their community at the Mayor’s Community Awards 2021.

The new Big Bus has been made possible with generous support from Principal Funder Walk the Walk, a UK breast cancer charity who have provided £360,000 in funding and £50,000 each from The Garfield Weston Foundation, Ulster Garden Villages and The McClay Foundation.

In the next year, Action Cancer’s long-term partners Musgrave NI will aim to generate £150,000 in fundraising, through its SuperValu and Centra stores and head office colleagues, to keep the wheels of the new Big Bus turning.

The new Big Bus will, over the next year, travel to 200 locations across Northern Ireland, delivering 2,000 health checks (men and women 16+) and 5,000 breast screenings (women aged 40-49 and over the age of 70; outside of NHS screening age range). Action Cancer has adapted its services during the Covid-19 pandemic so that these can be delivered safely on board the bus, face-to-face with the use of PPE and stringent sanitising measures (in line with government guidelines).

Gareth Kirk, Chief Executive of Action Cancer said: “The launch of the new Big Bus marks an outstanding milestone in Action Cancer’s history. The new vehicle carries on the legacy of the first Big Bus, saving lives and supporting people throughout NI for the next 15 years. We are grateful to have successfully delivered the new Big Bus to serve local people, in spite of the challenges brought on by the Pandemic. This would not have been possible without the support from our generous funders and the ongoing support of the staff and customers of Musgrave NI, SuperValu and Centra. Thank you for bringing our dream of a new Big Bus into reality.”

If you would like any information on how you could volunteer with the Lisburn Community Group please contact Mark Irwin-Watson on 07580133752 or email [email protected]