World Cancer Day inspires local firm HPP to support Maggie’s Oldham

Date published: 18 February 2024

World Cancer Day, an international awareness event held every February, has inspired staff at Hill’s Panel Products (HPP) in Oldham to raise money for Maggie’s cancer centre in the town.

It also helped increase awareness of how the disease has affected HPP colleagues, family and friends.

The day aims to save millions of lives across the globe each year through education, awareness and pressing governments and individuals to act.

To show solidarity, people are asked to walk, run or cycle in a 5k challenge, which is exactly what a group of HPP colleagues, their family and friends did at Alexandra Park in Oldham, while other staff opted to exercise closer to home.

And for every kilometre completed by a member of staff, HPP, which makes and supplies board, doors, fittings and accessories for the fitted furniture industry, pledged to donate £1 to Maggie’s Oldham - a promise that culminated in a cheque presentation for £350 to the centre that offers support and guidance to anyone with cancer and their loved ones.

HPP’s involvement in the day was organised by Assistant Marketing Manager Kenika Gumbs, who said: “It was a great day seeing others taking part for a good cause and also sharing our stories.

"I asked a few of the ladies why they decided to participate, and it was all for the same reason; they had lost someone very dear to their hearts from cancer.

“This event was important to me because I lost my great grandfather from pancreatic cancer.

"My best friend and other people I’ve known have died from cancer as well.

"I'm always doing donations, but I have never done any activities, so I wanted to push myself more to get involved in this sort of awareness activity.”

Kenika has now signed up for the World Cancer Day Call to Action campaigning for governments around the world to promote health equity, enhance cancer service accessibility, reduce disparities in cancer incidence and mortality, and close the care gap.

She has also encouraged workers at HPP’s Scottfield Road HQ to wear one of the many different coloured ribbons that each represent a type of cancer that had impacted on their lives - prompting a display of several colours including pink (breast cancer), orange (kidney and leukaemia), white (cervical), black (skin), purple (pancreatic), yellow (childhood), green (non-Hodgkin lymphoma), grey (brain) and blue (colorectal and prostate).

“Throughout this, I have found out that a lot of people at HPP have lost someone to cancer whether that's a colleague, friend, relative or partner,” added Kenika.

“That showed in all the different coloured ribbons people chose to wear and illustrates the widespread impact of cancer.”

HPP is also regular supporter of the annual Wear it Pink day every October in support of Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, raising more than £3,000 over the last eight years thanks to staff paying a £2 donation to wear something pink.

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