Fundraising Stories

This is a selection of some of the entries made in our forums about folks who have undertaken a huge variety of fundraising events for HaNC.

Please visit our forum to read about more successful fundraising events, or better yet, tell us about one yourself!

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Thank you to Barb Joinson who undertook the Liverpool Spring 10k on Sunday 3rd May (2015) at Sefton Park - raising an amazing £1,200 for HaNC!

It was her first ever 10k and she was an absolute star - after a considerably worrying downpour for hours and hours beforehand the sun came out just before she started and I think she actually quite enjoyed the morning! She's even mentioned a half marathon next! Watch this space....!

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We are delighted to announce that the students at the University of Liverpool Dental School have chosen us as one of the two charities they will be supporting in the academic year ahead.

Their first event on our behalf is a

Charity Bake Sale

being held at the Dental School on Wednesday 9th October

So if you're passing, and feeling peckish...

All those delicious calories will be in a very good cause (just remember to brush your teeth properly afterwards!)

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Charity Pub Quiz

being organized by the Students from Liverpool Dental School

Thursday 5th December at Rileys Sports Bar, Bolton Street, Liverpool

Quiz starts at 8pm.

If anyone wants to enter a team - its a maximum of 6, minimum of 4 people, with a £1 entry fee per person

For further information please contact Amanda, via her

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We were delighted to be allowed to hold a tombola stall at the Chester Riverside Rotary Christmas Fayre on Saturday 6th December at Westminster Park Community Centre.

Thank you so everyone who kindly donated prizes for our stall - we were inundated with so many amazing prizes that we were able to have two tombolas - one for adults (Alcoholic prizes such as Champagne, Rum, Whisky and much more, smellies, books, candles, christmas socks to name just a few) and another one for children which had amazing gifts to be won such as a Peppa Pig scooter, One Direction goodies, chocolate santas and so much more!

I am absolutely delighted to say the stall raised £218.55 !!

Thank you so much to all our volunteers on the day - Ken, Barbara, Rob, Gill and our star man Adam who won the chocolate santa!  

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The winds howled and the rain torrented down - but that didn't stop two intrepid cyclists undertaking a weatherbeaten challenge along Hadrian's Cycleway, aiming to ride 174 miles from coast to coast.

Cousins James Halpin and Robert Newsham set off along the Hadrian's Cycleway from North Shields on Saturday 23rd June, with the elements conspiring against them. In the end, day one ended up taking them ten hours to complete (with one 30 minute pit stop) as the weather was really bad. Undeterred however, they set of in somewhat better conditions on Sunday, and were thankfully able to complete their cycle into Ravensglass in a far more reasonable time!

Monies from their epic, weatherlaiden challenge is still being collected, but James believes it will be in the region of £400. A great achievement, reflecting their determination to complete the trip in spite of the conditions.

It's not too late to add your support. You can donate online , or just speak to Charlotte Halpin, Practice Facilitator on Wards 28/29.

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Yes - we need a new T-shirt - just for us.

It has to include the charity name and registration number, but apart from that the design is up to you!

You don't have to be the next Rembrant, a simple sketch will do. And indeed, simple designs tend to be the most effective!

Remember to indicate any colours of your design, and to tell us what colour you think the T-shirt itself should be.

Draw it out and post it to:

Design a T-shirt Competition
c/o Merseyside Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre
MFU Directorate
University Hospital Aintree 
Lower Lane 
Liverpool L9 7AL

And we'll chose the winning design at our Patient and Carer Support Group meeting on 7th February 2014

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Finally, after her sterling works in organising the Golf Day last year, Jackie Gregson is going to be running her own fundraising dinner party. A small event for family and friends, it's an excellent way of raising funds, trying out some new recipes, in a relaxed and social environment.

If you'd like to do something similar, please let us know. Jackie would be delighted to discuss her plans with you, and of course we can provide you with any fundraising materials you need.

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Aintree ENT Specialist Registrar Mr Constantinos Mamais is preparing for the 2012 Berlin Marathon. Mr Mamais is raising funds for the Mersey Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre and he wants to reassure all of his colleagues that he has completed the Leeds Half Marathon so he should survive the Berlin Marathon.

To sponsor Mr Mamais click here to visit his just giving page!!

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Saturday November 20th 2010 Awesome Walls in Liverpool

8848 metres, seven hours climb.

Raising money for 'Head and Neck Cancer Research' the 'Merseyside Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre' team ascended the equivalent height of Mount Everest.

The team was made up of Staff / Patients and Relatives who managed the task in double quick time and then carried on for more climbing.

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francesTriathlon.jpgOn August 9th 2015 Fran, who is a research technician at Aintree Hospital undertook an Olympic Distance Triathlon to raise funds for HaNC - an amazing achievement!!

Read in Fran's words all about her incredible day...

If anyone had told me I would one day complete a mile swim, 40km bike ride and a 10km run all in one day I would never have believed it, but on 9th August 2015 I defied what I thought I was capable of and did just that. 

Entered on a spur last November the months quickly passed by and I was there at the starting line submerged in surprisingly warm water in a lake in Shropshire. When the air horn sounded it was a mass start with 100 other competitors and I got round the lake in a moderate 33mins. On to the bike and the athletes I had managed to stay ahead of in the lake seemed to fly past me. 4 laps of a 10km circuit quickly became tiresome and towards the end I was looking forward to the run…which ended as soon as I started the first lap of 4 around the lake where the swim seemed like a distant memory. 

By this point there were many more competitors who were on their run section of their sprint triathlon – a much more sensible option – mentally though I was exhausted, even though my legs seemed to keep going. I crossed the finish line in 3hours 28mins and I couldn’t have done it without the support from my family and friends and knowing I was doing it for such a good cause – thank you everyone who donated to HaNC. 

Would I do it again? If you had asked me on the day I would have said “never again!” but who knows…since then I have competed in 3 sprint triathlons which are much more my cup of tea but now I know what to expect, perhaps another Olympic distance will be on the cards for next summer?!

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Crosby cancer survivors raise thousands with charity music night

A music night organised by two Crosby men has raised almost £8,000 for a cancer charity.

Vince Killen, of Chestnut Avenue, and Dave Holmes, deputy head teacher at Holy Family High School, came together to create the Head-On 2010 music night to raise funds for the Mersey Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre. The cause is particularly close to Vince and Dave’s hearts as both are currently recovering from tongue cancer.

  • The Jez Grew Experience
  • Xander & the Peace Pirates
  • Crowded Scouse
  • plus other special guests.

A brilliant night was had on Friday, the 15th October 2010 at the Pan-Am Bar, Albert Dock

please visit 

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Once again Head On proved to be the music event of the year!

Organised by former patient Vince Killen, with performances by Chegwin, The Mono LPs and Crowded Scouse, this year this popular evening of live music and good company raised over £5,000.
Donations can still be made at: 
And remember to sign up to the Head-On 2011 page on Facebook so that you can keep up-to-date with the latest news and future events!

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Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone who came, or donated, to Head-On 2012 on Friday night (26th October). The event looks to have raised around £2,600 to support the Merseyside Regional Head & Neck Cancer Centre, to support their clinical research into the early diagnosis and treatment of head & neck cancer.

That amount takes the total amount raised by the Head-On events over the last three years to almost £31,000. We really do appreciate your generosity and thanks to everyone for making it a great night.

Also a big thanks to; the bands who donated their services, Clockwork Radio, The Tunnels and Crowded Scouse; Gemma our fabulous MC; Leaf for being a great venue; and all the Leaf staff, particularly Terrence the sound engineer; our doormen and doorladies ; and Elaine H, the best bucket lady in the world.

There are now a few band pictures on the Head-On2012 Facebook page, but we didn't manage to get many guest pictures. So if anyone has got guest photos, please let me know, as we'd like to add them to the collection.

I hope you enjoyed the night as much as we did, and please let us know if you have any comments.

Kind Regards and many thanks again.


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UPDATE - September 2013

The music event of the head and neck calendar was another sell-out success!

Vince Killen (event organizer, head and neck cancer patient, and mean bass player for 'Crowded Scouse') believes that the evening has raised about £2,800.

Certainly a great time was had by all - you could hear the music and festivities all the way down Bold Street!

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The annual Head-On live music event was held on Friday 29 September 2017. This annual gig raises funds for the Merseyside Head & Neck Cancer Centre.   The first event was organised by a former patient of the Centre, Vince Killen in 2009 as he wanted to show thanks for the amazing care he received there.   As Vince played in a band, it was only natural to come up with the idea of holding a great night of live music night, and so far Head-On has raised over £50,000 to support the Centre’s research and patient care programmes.    

Head-On 2017 was held at Leaf’s brand new venue in Cotton House, Old Hall Street, and there were three fabulous bands playing: The Sensational Hit Soul Band; Chainsaw Haircut and Vince’s band, Crowded Scouse.  Once again, this was an amazing success, raising over £4000!

Thanks for your support!

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A huge thank you to 9 year old Keeley (Neil's granddaughter) who had a massive 12 inches cut off her beautiful hair!

Not only was she raising funds for Head and Neck Cancer Research and Support, she also donated her hair to Children with Leukaemia which is such a thoughtful gesture, thank you Keeley.

From her Just Giving Page:

Hi my name is Keeley Timney I am 8 years old.

I am trying to raise money in aid of the head and neck cancer center based at Aintree Hospital. I am going to do this by having my gorgeous waist length hair cut off to shoulder length and donating it to make wigs for children who are going through chemotherapy.

My nanna was diagnosed with oral cancer 2 yrs ago and thankfully is winning the fight.  When i found out that children was going through the same thing I imeadiatly said "is there any way i can help them" so my mum found out that i could donate my hair to these unfortunate children and raise money at the same time.

Please every penny counts to this amazing charity doesn't matter how big or small.

Thank you x

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We now have further details for the live music event of the 'Head and Neck' calendar!

Friday 20th September at Leaf Café

(Leaf on Bold Street, 65-67 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4EZ)

Doors open 8.00pm
Bands start 8.30pm

Line up to include: Chegwin, Crowded Scouse, the Vinos

Tickets cost just £10

You can purchase them via the Facebook page that has been set up for the event

Or by emailing Vince on:

There is also a twitter page at:

Make a note in your diary, and purchase your tickets today - based on previous events, it's an occassion not to be missed!

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UPDATE - September 2013

Although some donations are still coming in, I am delighted to report that our brave charity abseilers have raised over £6,500 for head and neck cancer research and support. It's an amazing achievement.
So a huge THANK YOU to everyone - abseilers, supporters, sponsors - we couldn't have done it without you!!!

- Update August 2013


I'm delighted to report that, on Saturday 3rd August, a brave team of ten patients, carers, friends and medical staff faced their fears and successfully completed a 150ft free fall abseil from Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.

Although the weather was a bit blustery, the sun did come out to join the crowd of cheering supporters waiting, with both anticipation and trepidation, at the foot of the Cathedral's magnificent main entrance.

Feelings were equally mixed amongst the team. A couple of our intrepid abseilers were literally shaking all the way down - but they all did it none the less!

As promised, we even had 'Spider-nan' singing and reciting comic verse as she went.

But although the event is now complete, our job is only half done - we need to collect all that sponsor money so generously pledged..!

So if you've agreed to sponsor someone, now is the time to track them down and give them your donation - don't forget to ask to see some of the photos! And even if you haven't sponsored them or the team yet, it's still not too late to add your support with a donation at:

We'll be giving an update later in the month about the final amount raised - but at present it just remains to say a VERY WELL DONE and HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who took part.

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small_London2Paris1.jpgA Massive Congratulations to Rob Warburton who, in September, managed to cycle from London to Paris and has raised over £1,000 for HaNC!

He has kindly written his story below:

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with carcinoma on the underside of my tongue and the floor of my mouth.  Following major surgery performed by the brilliant surgeons in the maxillofacial department at Aintree Hospital I also underwent a course of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge. I subsequently experienced complications over the next couple of years which resulted in me needing to have the right side of my jaw reconstructed in 2011, using bone from my leg to replace the affected jaw bone. 

The outcome has left me with eating difficulties. Although I can swallow alright, I am unable to chew food or move it around my mouth easily. This means that my food has to either be liquidised or else cut up very small and washed down with water, tea, soup, etc., supplemented by Ensure and Fortisip drinks.

I decided last year that I wanted to undertake a challenge to raise money for HaNC and had heard about the London to Paris cycle challenge. This was something that appealed to me as I had often fancied riding around the French countryside, although I only began cycling seriously just over two years ago after I had taken early retirement on ill-health grounds.

The challenge involved cycling approximately 300 miles in 4 days, between 70 and 80 miles per day. I began training for this back in the spring, gradually increasing the distances I was riding as the months went by.  My main concern was whether or not I would be able to get enough nutrition while I was away to be able to go out and do it all over again the next day for four consecutive days.

So, on 15th September Gill and I drove down to Croydon, from where the ride was to set off at around 7 o`clock the following morning. The first day involved riding through the Kent countryside en route to Dover (the early start being needed to enable us to catch the early evening ferry to Calais). From there we had a short ride to our hotel and a well-earned night`s sleep!  The first day was probably the most difficult in terms of distance (82miles) and also because it involved a lot of climbing, over the North and South Downs to reach the coast. To make matters worse the weather was not too kind either, much of it being spend in heavy drizzle which made some of the roads and country lanes rather slippery. 

Day 2 took us from Calais to Arras in the Somme region.  Again the weather wasn`t very good in the morning with constant rain for much of the time, and the route once more was quite hilly. However, things improved greatly in the afternoon as the rain dried up and the sun came out for the first time since leaving Croydon the previous day. I was beginning to enjoy the ride a lot more as my clothes dried out as I rode through beautiful countryside and some lovely villages. This was how I had imagined cycling in France would be like before I set off.  I arrived in Arras tired and with my legs aching, but feeling immensely satisfied that I had now completed half the challenge.
​The third days ride was from Arras to Compiegne through the site of some of the First World War battlefields, and we passed by several French, German and Commonwealth war cemeteries along the route.  The rain of the previous two days had stopped (for now) and the landscape was a lot flatter. However we now had wind to contend with. Much of the day was spent riding into a 20-25mph headwind which, combined with legs that were now aching, was just as unforgiving as the first two days. Just after the afternoon water stop came the only testing climb of the day up into a forest. The effort was rewarded by a long descent down a wide winding road through beautiful forest scenery.

This all changed as I passed through the small town at the bottom of the descent. Suddenly the heavens opened and I rode the final 10 miles to Compiegne in a torrential downpour, sloshing my way along roads that were running like rivers in some of the villages. I arrived at the destination thoroughly soaked and cold. Fortunately the hotel room that night had a bath (unlike the first night in Calais which only had a shower – and no hot water!!!) and I had time to lie in there for a good half hour before the evening meal.  (I was only able to get a limited amount of food while I was away. A bowl of soup on a couple of evenings plus a small amount of cut up pasta, and I couldn`t partake of any of the food that was available at the lunch stops during the day. I did take the precaution of taking with me some pots of porridge to get me off to a good start for the day ahead. But I think it`s probably true to say that I got through the challenge on a mixture of Ensures and athlete`s Energy Gels)

I don`t think I have ever experienced such an emotional swing in so short a period of time as I did on each of the days in France. On the one hand there were the times when I was cold and soaked, my legs were aching, and I was seriously doubting if I was going to be able to complete the challenge. Then, having arrived at that day`s destination, this was replaced by a complete feeling of euphoria at having got through it and being a day nearer to Paris.

Saturday morning arrived and Paris was only some 70 or so miles away. The first part of the day was spent on cycle paths through the large Compiegne Forest, finally emerging into open countryside similar to the day before, with quiet picturesque villages along the way. Again the legs were aching almost unbearably at times, but as with the previous day I began to feel stronger as the day went on. It seemed to take about four hours of riding for the muscles in my legs to start working properly after the previous day`s effort. By the time we arrived at the lunch stop Paris was a mere 26 miles away. You could see some of the larger city buildings in the distance and the roads were becoming busier.  There were about 140 people in the group of various ages and cycling abilities, some much faster than others; so the plan was for everyone to meet at 4.30 outside The Louvre.

From there we rode as a group, escorted at the front and rear by the Support Team vehicles, along the Champs-Elysees, around the Arc de Triomphe then on to The Eiffel Tower. A fitting and memorable finish to an utterly amazing experience. But there was one more fantastic surprise still to come. For waiting to meet me in front of The Eiffel Tower was my wonderful wife, Gill, who had flown out to Paris early that morning to see me finish! We were both overjoyed to see each other after four days, and the perfect end to an unforgettable adventure! (I had spoken to Gill a couple of hours earlier at one of the water stops and she assured me that she was ringing me from outside Tesco`s in Eastham and had been for a run along the Wirral Way with some friends that morning).

I would like to thank Gill for all her love and support during my preparation for taking part in this ride. Also, to Professor Richard Shaw and his team at Aintree. I could not have believed seven years ago that I would ever even be considering attempting something like this. Finally, I would like to thank everybody who has so generously sponsored me and given me the incentive to complete what has been an incredible four days of my life.

Have a look at a couple of Rob's photos of his arrival in Paris!


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We're already getting people signing up for the "rock and roll" marathon/half marathon happening on the May Bank holiday Sunday (25th) next year.

Simon Rogers has already said he will consider the full marathon, and we know of others who have signed up for the half marathon and will be running on our behalf.

Competitor registration is via:

And we'll also be putting together a team for another crack at the Wirral Half Marathon/10k event next October (see below for details of our sucessful - if windswept - participants this year)

Of course, if you want to enter something else, or organise your own event - just let us know!!!

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London Marathon

In April, Rachel Kelly ran her very first marathon - the London Marathon, and generously decided to run on behalf of head and neck cancer.

"I ran the marathon in 4 hours and 9 minutes. I was very pleased with myself because it was my first one and I had only been training for 8 weeks due to a very bad ankle injury. I had a great physio though who managed to get me through it!

I am not a member of a running club either so I trained alone which took a lot of dedication I can tell you! Once you get past about 10 miles it's hard to find people willing to come with you! As I saw people sponsoring me online and all the money coming in it definitely made it that much easier."

We are delighted to report that, including Gift Aid, which was added to donations made through the Just Giving site that she set up, Rachel raised over £2,600.

Liverpool Marathon

On Sunday 9th October, hundreds of intrepid local athletes ran, jogged, walked (and in at least one notable case, hobbled) around the 26.2mile course that was this year's Liverpool Marathon.

We specifically want to say a very big "thank you" to the runners who chose to run to raise funds for head and neck cancer.

Richard Webster finished in a very impressive 2 hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds - and raised over £400.

Despite nursing a calf muscle tear that he picked up in training just a couple of weeks before the event, Professor Simon Rogers completed the course in an incredible 3 hours and 31 minutes, raising a further £880.

"I survived... It ended up being a painful shuffle with the left hip playing up really badly and 4 or 5 new blisters (don't usually get blisters)...but I kept moving!

"The atmosphere and support from the crowd today was amazing...I recommend the challenge.

"Perhaps we could get a team together for next year as it is an achievement all participants will be proud of. I will have to mull over doing it again....but if there is a team I would find it hard to say no."

So, is anyone up for joining Simon for the Liverpool Half-Marathon in March?


Aintree University Hospitals Charitable Fund, Aintree House, Lower Lane, Liverpool L9 7AL
Aintree University Hospitals Charitable Fund Registered Charity No. 1050542

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The recent 10K race was a great success and helped to raise more money for Head & Neck cancer research.

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The Mersey Tunnel 10K race took place on the 12th June and once again the Mersey Regional Head and Neck Unit was there taking part - raising money for head and neck cancer research.
A photo of some of this year's participants and details of their times can be found through the click through menu to the left.
Thank you to all who took part, and of course their generous sponsors.
And remember - let us know if you want to take part in next year's event!

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On a sunny Sunday 9th June, Mrs Elizabeth Backland and her daughter Caroline successfully met the combined challenges of incipient sunburn, a dripping tunnel and 10 kilometres of unforgiving tarmac to complete the Mersey Tunnel 10k run in 1 hour 26 minutes.

"I know the winner completed the race in about 30 minutes, but we're really proud of our time, and that we did it together!"

Elizabeth and Caroline estimate they have already raised approximately £100 for Head and Neck Cancer Research and Support. But it's not too late to show your support and add your donation to their total - just go

"We'd also like to say a big thank you to all the helpers all along the course. They were great. We couldn't have done it without them."

And we'd like to add our sincere thanks to this amazing mother and daughter team for their fundraising. Without people like them, we wouldn't be able to continue helping fund vitally needed research and on-going support activities.Congratulations and thank you both!

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Michelle Meredith, our intrepid fundraising skydiver explains why raising funds for Head and Neck Cancer Research and Support is so important to her and her family.

"In May 2003, my family began a journey which we never envisaged would still be continuing nearly 10 years on. We are and still deal with Head and Neck Cancer. My mother presented at the GP for many months complaining of a lump in the neck which turned out not to be a swollen gland but Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the salivary gland. After surgery and radiotherapy she is still under regular review and coping with after effects of treatment.
In Dec 2006, My step father was diagnosed with oral cancer and needed his tongue partially removed along with his lymph nodes. To date he still attends check up appointments.
Head and Neck cancers are the forgotten cancers but their effects are only too visible. Trying to cover up extensive surgery to the face, head and neck is difficult as these areas are usually on show. Eating and speaking also becomes very awkward for head and neck cancer sufferers. I have watched both parents struggle at times and tears have been many but through out that we still say "At least you're here".

I am in awe of them both and their fighting spirit and all the patients we have come into contact with over the years. It is because of this and the help and support of Head & Neck Cancer Centre at Aintree that I am going on the 25th August 2012 with Black Knights Parachute Centre, Cockerham, Lancashire to Sky dive from a plane at 10,000 feet.

So when I land with a big smile on my face it will be for all the survivors and those who have lost their battle with all forms of Head & Neck Cancers. To many it is not a forgotten cancer."

If you wish to add your donation to Michelle's fundraising efforts, please

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A massive thank you to Nat Lou Birkett

...for raising over £100 for Head and Neck Cancer Research and Support.

She took part in the Dublin Rock n Roll Half Marathon on Monday, finishing in under 2 hours! Well Done!

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Neil Shallcross, who's partner Yvonne was treated at Aintree Hospital, had an amazing May in 2014!

He decided to undertake not just one fundraising event but many, all through May.

These included the Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon, a pier to pier walk (over 20 miles!) with 15 of his friends, three 10k races and a fantastic fundraising evening in Southport (the Wirral Half Marathon, the Port Sunlight 10k, the Great Manchester 10k, the Wirral Tunnel Run, a Pier to Pier walk (24 miles from Liverpool to Southport Pier) and a hosted a Fundraising night.)

On totalling up all the sponsorship and donations, he raised a grand total of  £4,078!!

Thank you so much Neil!

Neil is pictured below, with his lovely partner Yvonne, handing over his cheque to Professor Richard Shaw, one of the world renowned surgeons at Aintree Hospital, and with his wonderful group of supporters/friends.

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Aintree's ENT Trainee Advanced Nurse Practitioner Nicola Carmicheal's husband is taking part in the 'Zero to Hero' Boxing challenge to raise money for HaNC!

Zero to Hero is a once in a lifetime fitness programme designed to provide contenders with the opportunity of a lifetime.

In a total of 10 weeks he will complete the programme (hopefully!) and then step into the ring with an evenly matched "white collar" opponent based on weight, fitness and ability. This will take place on 27th June at Liverpool Olympia.

To donate to Phil's amazing challenge - click on the link for the Just Giving Page.

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Sporting starts and professional golfers came together to support our very first Pro-Celebrity Golf day.
Organised by former patient Malcolm Gregson, five times winner on the European Tour, with Ryder Cup and Wold Cup appearances to his name, the event was an amazing success, raising over £17,500. Special thanks must also go to the European Tour, FarmFoods and Champions (UK) Ltd, for their generous sponsorship and support. 
Further details, and (hopefully soon) photos from the day can be found through the click through menu.

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On Sunday 26th April Professor Simon Rogers, the Clinical Lead at Aintree Hospital undertook the Virgin Money London Marathon, raising nearly £1,000 for HaNC!

He finished in exactly 3 hours, which is an incredible time!! 

A few words from Simon....

"Sunday the 26th of April 2015 is a day that will never be forgotten. Permanently inscribed into the timeline of Simon Rogers. The atmosphere, the crowds, the tens of thousands of runners, the iconic land marks of London, the culmination of all the months of training, the pain, the desire to finish, the joy of individual success and achievement but also that of all the others there, the vast array of memories from the whole weekend, the support of so many loved ones, friends, patients and their families, colleagues, the well deserved celebration afterwards. Like so many others, the London Marathon is an achievement of a life time. I huge thank you to all who so kindly donated to HaNC. We need some HaNC runners next year. It is very hard to get a place in the London Marathon so don't be disappointed if you miss out in the ballot. There are plenty of other ones to do so make a difference and enjoy!"

Check out the photos below of his amazing day.

Thank You Simon, from everyone at HaNC.

If you would like to sponsor Simon, he has a Just Giving page set up -



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SnowdoniaZipWire2.pngOn Saturday 6th September, 15 brave participants took part in the Snowdonia ZipWire Challenge - the longest and fastest ZipWire in Europe.

They travelled at speeds of over 100mph over 500ft above the ground to raise well needed funds for HaNC - Head and Neck Cancer Support and Research.

Many thanks to every single one of you who took part - we have hopefully raised over £2,000!

We are hoping to arrange another ZipWire day next year so if anyone would like to take part next time please email Gill on


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We would like to thank a very brave family for fundraising an amazing amount of money - £6,062 - for HaNC by undertaking a parachute jump!!!!

Louise Tammadge is a recently retired doctor from Formby - in fact she was the region's longest serving GP at Chapel Lane Surgery (under her professional name, Dr Jones). She decided to take early retirement when her husband Tony was diagnosed with tongue cancer in the summer of last year.

After Tony received outstanding treatment from Aintree and Dr Faz Bekiroglu the family decided they wanted to raise funds for Head and Neck Cancer Support and Research.

So on 28th February of this year Louise, along with their daughter Rachel and son Tim, undertook a skydive from 11,000 ft!

In Louise's own words:

"We would like to send a big thank you to everyone for all your donations. We have received so many donations to the Justgiving site and to a cash bucket at the surgery - from family, friends, patients, Formby businesses, and Formby Choral Society.

We successfully jumped on Feb 28 despite very unpromising grey misty weather and after arriving at 07.00 we had a tense, cold, 5 hr wait. The winds were stronger than expected but we still managed the 11,000 feet high jump. It was hugely exhilarating-the biggest challenge was trying to breathe in such strong winds! We got blown off course, to land in a quagmire and scramble over barbed wire carrying the shute, before safe return to base!! 

A hot bath and celebratory glass of wine was very much needed and appreciated after a long day.

However mission accomplished, and we have so far raised over £4,500 to be donated to the Aintree Head and Neck Cancer Support and Research Unit , so many thanks for all your help."

On Monday 30th March Louise and her family handed over a cheque to HaNC for the total of £6,012 at the Chapel Lane Surgery in Formby.

Present in the photo are (from left to right) Stuart Keppie (Hemby Trust), Tony, Rachel, Louise and Tim Tammadge, Gill (from HaNC) and Stewart Eden (the manager of Chapel Lane Surgery)

Many thanks to Dan Wallis from the Surgery for taking the photos.

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In the early evening of Saturday 11th August, a small crowd of family, friends and well wishers gathered at the base of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral. High above them, over the maginficent main doorway, were the scafolding and ropes about to be used by our team of eight intrepid abseilers.

First they had to climb up 244 steps to reach the abseiling platform - which probably would have been enough of a chellenge for most of us waiting nervously below. Kitted out in harnesses and yellow safety helmets, they looked very small over 150ft above us, and yet there they were about to leap off the edge into the unknown - all to raise funds for Head and Neck Cancer Research and Support

Ed Grocott (despite his fear of heights), Bill Crowe, Andrew Wootton, Chris Hawkins, Julie Andrews, Terry Jones (with his jet lag), Kate Wilson (taking Sheila Dodd's place at heroically short notice) and Ric Dodd all made it down safely - to the cheers and shouts of all their supporters below.

THANK YOU all - and indeed thank you to everyone who turned up on the day as part of the "Cheering Section".

Having "leapt" so magnificently, all our charity abseilers are now busily collecting their sponsorship. And their JustGiving will remain open for online donations for another few weeks yet.

We're hoping to top the £1,000 mark.

Very well done all!

Latest Update

The money is just about all in now, and in total the team think they've raised over£2,200!

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In March this year a small team of urban mushers became the first "pack" to go coast to coast by dog power. Using a specially designed scooter it took four days for Mishka the Husky and Millie the Collie, accompanied by father and son team Chris and Michael Mimnagh to cross from Fort William to Inverness, a total of 80 miles.

The team were supported by Richard Abley, who served as coach, cook, driver and fundraising co-ordinator. Through Barclays his employer Richard was able to provide matched funding for a significant amount of the sponsorship raised.

Unseasonably warm weather meant the team could only run in the very early morning or late twilight. "We lived like dogs" said Chris "holed up and sleeping during the day, running in the cool mornings or evenings".

Although the dogs enjoyed the trip Chris, who is Aintree's Director of Strategy and a local GP, says they are no plans for further treks."The dogs loved the adventure but I don't think we'll be able to put in the training again to do that kind of event."

All we can say is a huge "THANK YOU" to Chris and his team, for undertaking such an amazing challenge, and for raising funds for Head and Neck Cancer. This year one of our key activities is to fund a three year post-graduate research project looking at why people don't go to their doctor when they first spot symptoms, and investigating better ways to ensure early presentation.

Early detection really can save lives. And it is only through the fundraising efforts of people like Chris, Michael, Richard, Mishka and Millie, that we can raise the funds that make this vital research possible.

At present, Chris believes he has raised approximately £5,000, which is an amazing total in itself. Donations are still coming in, so if you'd like to add your support it's not too late visit Chris's JustGiving site at:

Once again, our sincere congratulations on your coast to coast success - heroic urban mushers all!!

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An incredible 'wedding present' from an inspiring couple.

Rather than wedding presents, newly-weds Gill and Rob Warburton asked if their family and friends would make a donation towards the work done by the teams at the Mersey Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre.

On Friday 13th November Prof Richard Shaw, flanked by senior colleagues from the head and neck teams in Merseyside, was delighted to accept a cheque for £2,483from the happy couple. An incredible amount raised by an amazing and inspiring couple.

As Gill herself explains, the story of their relationship hasn't exactly been uneventful...

"Rob and I met in 2007 while I was living in York and he was here on the Wirral - we met on holiday in North Wales where both sets of parents have a caravan and they had been good friends for 25 years without Rob and I having ever met!

In August 2008 he was diagnosed with mouth cancer & had extensive surgery, operated on by Mr Shaw. He had squamous-cell carcinoma of the tongue which resulted in the removal of a large portion of his tongue and needed reconstruction of the right side of his mouth with tissue from his thigh.

This was followed by a six week course of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge.

Recovery was very difficult for him with a few complications along the way, however Rob & I grew closer and I moved over to the Wirral in July 2009 to be with him.

He was hit with another complication in 2011 when he developed osteoradionecrosis of the mandible and in September of that year the necrotic bone was removed and his jaw reconstructed using bone from his fibular.

However just before he was due to undergo the surgery he proposed to me at the top of Snowdon.

Then on 23 November of this year we got married and it was the happiest day of our lives - I was incredibly proud of him standing up and giving his speech in front of a room full of people."

Rob being able to give a speech at his own wedding, indeed having a wedding at all, has been a long and at times difficult journey for the couple - though you wouldn't guess this from their smiles and laughter today. They specifically asked if they could present their cheque to Professor Shaw as a 'thank you' to Richard and his team for making their wedding possible. Touchingly, signing the 'big' cheque used for the photographs was actually the first time Gill had used her 'new' signature.

We would like to add our own sincere thanks to Gill and Rob for their generosity, and wish them a very happy life together.

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They did it!!!!

Running over 13 miles (21 kilometres) over tarmac and across sand, through the cold, wind and rain of an October morning John Gill, Prof Simon Rogers, Andy Lyon and Neil Shallcross all successfully completed the Wirral Half Marathon to raise funds in support of the Merseyside Regional Head and Neck Cancer Centre.

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who has already given their support - not to mention to the increasingly frostbitten 'cheering squad' who gathered on the seafront at New Brighton to add their support to our runners efforts, and to Simon and Sian for hosting the gathering afterwards.

So if you've not done so already, please search our valiant runners out to give them your sponsorship. And remember, it's never too late to add your donation to their fundraising efforts - just visit our online donation site at: aintreeuniversityhospitals


Calling all runners....

Sunday 13th October - "Wirral Half Marathon"

We currently have a team of four brave runners committed to undertaking the Wirral Half Marathon - Prof. Simon Rogers will be being joined by Neil Shallcross, John Gill (a spry 63 year old) and Andrew Lyon (head and neck cancer patient).

If you would like to join them, then its not (quite) too late - you can book your individual place online through the event organisers

So if you do want to join in - just let us know, and we'll see what we can do with T-shirts and sponsor forms!

We're also going to be putting together a bit of a cheering squad, to gather towards the finish post, bright and breezy on Sunday morning.

So why not put your best foot forward and join us?

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Congratulations to Professor Simon Rogers and Nat Lou who both took part in the Wirral Half Marathon on Sunday October 2014 to raise awareness of Head and Neck Cancer finishing in amazing times!

Also thanks for the cheering squad that turned up to support them!

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Not sure if these links will upload correctly, but if you check The Swallows website, you can get info on the World Head and Neck Cancer Day which is tomorrow. Best wishes, Bob

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Chris Curtis
Swallows Charity Chairman & World Patient Ambassador

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