Login to Pancreatic Cancer UK

Spinning, baking and hula-hooping at work to beat pancreatic cancer

Posted by: Guest author 27 September 2018

Downshire Arms Hotel are one of the amazing workplaces who support Pancreatic Cancer UK. Karen, the owner, tells us why she started fundraising at work to raise awareness for this tough disease.

“About a year after my dad died from pancreatic cancer, I felt this overwhelming urge to do something to help stop other people suffering like he did. That’s why I started fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer UK at work - and, thanks to the charity’s support, I haven’t looked back.” 

Downshire Arms
Image by Banbridge Chronicle

Why we support Pancreatic Cancer UK

My dad had been ill for a while before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and sadly passed away just three months later on 17th November 2013.

About a year after that, I felt like it was time for me to do something to continue the fight against pancreatic cancer. That particular year, World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day coincided with the date my Dad passed away. It was as if he was telling me to get my act together and do something for others.

As the owner of a hotel and bar, I decided to organise a coffee morning to highlight Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and his anniversary. All our suppliers and local bakeries provided everything we needed to make the coffee morning a success.  In order to raise more money and get more people involved, I decided to also organise a themed event – so we completed a 12-hour sponsored spinning session. It was a truly brilliant day in honour of my Dad. And this was only the start…  

Downshire Hotel Team
Image by Banbridge Chronicle

Last year during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month we took things to another level and got everyone hula-hooping! We made a video every day to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and demonstrate why fundraising is so important. The videos went viral, and even the children at the local nursery hula-hooped for Pancreatic Cancer UK. The whole town was talking about this event. I am so proud to say that to date we have raised over £6,770 in memory of my Dad, I can’t wait to see what we can achieve this year!

Our tips for fundraising success

When planning our fundraising, I’ve always tried to use as many of my contacts as possible. At first, I was slightly reticent to ask people for help or money, but it didn’t take long for me to overcome that. In my experience people will always help if they can.

My heart-felt thanks also go to Andrea, Pancreatic Cancer UK’s community coordinator in Northern Ireland. Without her I don’t think I would have had the confidence to start fundraising. She gave me a real boost and helped me get my ideas off the ground. She’s an absolute star.

Fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer UK at work has been - and I know will continue to be - a brilliant experience. It has really shown me what you can do when you work as a team. And I’m very proud of the part that The Downshire, my staff and my community are playing in the fight against pancreatic cancer.”    

Karen, owner, Downshire Arms Hotel

Get your workplace involved

Whether it’s spinning, hula-hooping or something else, you can help us change the story for people affected by pancreatic cancer this Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Find out how you can get involved this November