An Altrincham fundraising group, which plays extensively at Markets Market events in Cheshire, has received a national award from Cancer Research UK in recognition of their outstanding contribution to fundraising.
The Loose Change Buskers scooped the accolade of Community Organisation of the Year, beating off stiff competition from across the UK at the charity’s annual Flame of Hope Awards.
The awards acknowledge remarkable efforts in fundraising and volunteering made by people from all walks of life.
The Loose Change Buskers were recognised for their exceptional dedication to Cancer Research UK by raising almost £450,000 through busking in town centres since they began in 2010.
The group was founded by Timperley and Altrincham musicians Bernard Dolan and John Fogel after a close friend of theirs had cancer.
Since then the group has grown and now has 35 members, including musicians and bucketeers who collect coins from members of the public.
They take it in turns to busk in town centres and events in South Manchester and Cheshire every weekend, collecting loose change for Cancer Research UK.
Bernard said: “It’s really nice to get this award and know that we are appreciated. Our musicians give up so much of their time and we keep the cause very close to our hearts.
“Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer and we never lose sight of why we are doing this.
“We’ve been to see the work carried out by Cancer Research UK scientists in Manchester and it’s so interesting to see the important work being done.”
Cancer Research UK’s ambition is that, by 2034, three-quarters of people in the North West will survive for 10 years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Cancer Research UK’s chairman, said: “It’s been an honour to host the Flame of Hope awards and hear about the achievements of our many dedicated volunteers.
It’s important to say thank you to these truly remarkable volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work they do.”
Alison Barbuti, spokesperson Cancer Research UK in the North West, said: “These awards are our way of honouring incredible people like the Loose Change Buskers who give their time freely to raise money for research and promote greater awareness of the disease, and yet ask for nothing in return.
“It’s thanks to the support of the fundraising public and our amazing army of volunteers that we can continue to make a real difference and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”