NI businesses raise over £52,000 for charity

Ten organisations raised a staggering £52k for Cancer Focus NI in a one-day shop takeover challenge

Volunteers from ten organisations raised an incredible £52,000 for local charity Cancer Focus Northern Ireland by taking part in a one-day charity shop takeover challenge, ‘The Big Shops’ Showdown’.

The Big Shops’ Showdown, organised by Business in the Community, encouraged business volunteers to step outside the office for a day in April, to take over the running of one of Cancer Focus NI’s charity shops. There was an element of friendly competition, with each team competing to raise as much money as possible, both on the day and in the run up to the challenge.

The results were revealed at a special celebration event on 11 May. Awards were given for the best design for a Bag for Life, window display, shop theme, and judges’ choice. Healthy Built Environment was crowned the overall winner, as they raised the most money with an impressive total of £12,513.

Roisin Foster, Chief Executive, Cancer Focus NI, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of the Big Shops’ Showdown. The fundraising total surpassed all of our expectations and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work that has gone into the fundraising at each shop. I’d like to say a big thank you to every company that took part. They have not only raised much-needed cash but they have also helped to raise awareness of the work that we do.”

“Every penny raised will stay here in Northern Ireland to provide vital support services for local people including family support, counselling, art therapy for anyone affected by cancer, a NurseLine and a bra-fitting service for women who’ve had breast cancer.”

Andy Nisbet Friel, Communities Executive, Business in the Community, said: “We are really pleased with the results of the 2018 Big Shops’ Challenge. The companies involved are committed to doing business responsibly, and this employer supported volunteering challenge offers multiple benefits – enabling employees to take on and project manage the challenge, using 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. It’s hard work but great fun and, of course, some healthy competition.”

Companies who took part were: Allen & Overy, Arthur Cox, Baker McKenzie, FirstSource, Frylite, Healthy Built Environment, JP Corry, Progressive, Qualitrol and Whale Pumps.

Cancer Focus NI Shops involved in this year’s challenge were: Ballyhackamore, Ormeau Road and Lisburn Road in Belfast; Ballymoney; Banbridge; Bangor; Coleraine; Holywood; Limavady; Lisburn; Newtownstewart.

For more information, please contact Andy Nisbet Friel on (028) 9046 0606 or visit