Companies needed to take on the Big Shops’ Showdown!

Business in the Community is calling for local organisations in the Coleraine, Ballymoney and Banbridge areas to support Cancer Focus Northern Ireland in a high-powered Apprentice-style volunteering challenge on 12 April 2019.

Teams taking part in the Big Shops’ Showdown will be required to get creative and take over the running of a Cancer Focus NI charity shop, competing with 10 other companies to raise the most money and raise profile for the charity.

Andy Nisbet Friel, Communities Executive, Business in the Community, said: “Since 2010, our annual charity shop take-over days have raised more than £500,000 for charities by using the expertise, good will and business acumen of companies. We are delighted to be running this challenge again in partnership with Cancer Focus NI, especially during their landmark 50th anniversary year. The teams will need to use their entrepreneurial skills, business know-how and years of collective experience to increase donations, and expand the footfall and sales at their particular shop.

“Seven companies have already signed up, demonstrating their commitment  to doing business responsibly. This employer supported volunteering challenge offers multiple benefits – enabling employees to take on and project manage the challenge, use their skills and wits to fundraise, get creative in managing and promoting ‘their’ shop, and raising awareness of Cancer Focus NI’s services throughout Northern Ireland. Come and join in this fun and healthy competition. Will your business be the be the slickest fundraiser in town?”

Companies already signed up include: Arthur Cox, Baker McKenzie, Concentrix, DuPont, PSNI, JP Corry, and Translink.

Kathryn Holland, Corporate & Challenge Events Manager, Cancer Focus NI, said:

“The Big Shops’ Showdown provides a unique opportunity for Cancer Focus NI to raise awareness of the valuable work we do locally and raise much-needed cash.

“Every penny raised during the challenge stays in Northern Ireland, providing vital support services for local people including family support, counselling and art therapy for anyone affected by cancer, a NurseLine and a bra-fitting service for women who’ve had breast cancer. We also fund pioneering cancer research right here in Northern Ireland. In fact this year to mark our 50th anniversary we’re investing £100K in a pioneering breast cancer research at Queen’s University, Belfast.”

She added: “The Big Shops’ Showdown is a serious business test, with a little friendly competition between the organisations involved. We will announce the winners at a special celebration lunch at Cancer Focus NI offices in Belfast in May. It’s a great opportunity for us to recognise the efforts and activities of each of the teams and say thank you to all involved.

“Whether you’re part of a team participating in the challenge, supporting work colleagues who are taking part, live close to one of the shops or are simply on the lookout for a bargain, you can be part of this year’s Big Shops’ Showdown and help to raise vital funds to support our care services, cancer prevention work and research.”

The shops involved in this year’s challenge are; Ballyhackamore, Ormeau Road and Lisburn Road in Belfast, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Bangor, Coleraine, Holywood, Limavady, Lisburn, Newtownards and Newtownstewart,

Training will be provided for all companies who sign up to the challenge. For more information, contact Andy Nisbet Friel on (028) 9046 0606 or visit