Today marks the official launch of Prevent Breast Cancer’s bright pink BooBee Bus, which is kick-starting BreastFest – an ambitious month-long breast cancer campaign aimed at driving awareness in the region.

This October, the UK’s only breast cancer charity committed to the prevention of the disease will launch an innovative campaign to inspire and educate residents of the region against the disease, which is developed by 1 in 9 women.

The bus will tour landmarks of Greater Manchester and Cheshire and will be staffed by BreastFest’s iconic ‘BooBees’ – 100 amazing women who have been personally affected by breast cancer – who will share their experiences, to inform and educate others about the disease.

The BooBee Bus will start its journey today at The Nightingale Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, before visiting more than 20 locations in the North West during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, including Wythenshawe, Cheadle, Salford Quays and Manchester City Centre. It will visit workplaces and key landmarks across the region, equipping women with the knowledge they need to become more breast aware.

Nikki Barraclough, executive director at Prevent Breast Cancer, said:

“We are taking to the streets and landmarks of Manchester to help inspire and educate its residents. Despite breast cancer being such a prevalent disease, there is still a lack of awareness in what to look out for, and how to reduce your personal risk of developing it. BreastFest and the BooBee Bus will help educate people on relevant risk factors, particularly those relating to lifestyle and diet, that we can control.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with 1 in 9 women and 1 in 1,000 men developing the disease in their lifetime, and it is the biggest cause of death in women aged 35 to 49. As the only UK charity dedicated to the prediction and prevention of breast cancer, Prevent Breast Cancer is passionate about creating a future free from breast cancer.

Nikki added:

“We’re extremely thankful for all those that have helped our BooBee Bus take flight, from the fantastic team at Alexander Dennis Limited, who have provided the bus and wrapped her in the beautiful BooBee design, to Stagecoach and their amazing drivers who’ll be navigating around the region.

“Ultimately, we want to place Greater Manchester firmly at the heart of this inspiring campaign and encourage women to raise their own awareness levels by introducing them to those who have been personally affected by the disease”

Margo Cornish, BreastFest founder and charity supporter said:

“We’re thrilled to have recruited so many ‘BooBees’ – women willing to share their personal experiences with breast cancer – and North West-based businesses, in a combined effort and campaign to battle this awful disease. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the better the chance of beating it – so we’re hoping to get as many women as possible to hop onto the BooBee Bus in October.”

Every year in the UK 55,000 individuals are diagnosed with breast cancer – approximately 150 people a day. Every year, a staggering 11,563 people are lost to this devastating disease.

Margo continued:

“I myself have seen many of my dear friends directly affected by breast cancer, and it’s for this very reason I was inspired to launch BreastFest in partnership with Prevent Breast Cancer. With the help of Stagecoach Manchester, we will be able to bring a bright pink bus to the workplaces and highest footfall areas of the city, to raise awareness, help and support the residents of this great city. We look forward to seeing you at one of our stops and hope you can join us in the fight to make Manchester the most breast aware city in the UK.”

Mandy Bailey, chief executive of Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) said:

“Breast care is one of the specialist services we offer at MFT and our breast screening service is one of the largest in England. The Nightingale Centre is Europe’s first-ever purpose-built combined breast cancer prevention and treatment centre where we diagnose and treat breast cancer, so we are delighted to kick start this campaign here in Manchester.

“A number of our medical professionals from the Nightingale Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital will be on hand to provide advice and to highlight the importance of self-checking. Early detection of breast cancer often leads to more successful treatment which is why this campaign is so important.”

The double-decker bus, provided by Alexander Dennis Limited, has been wrapped entirely in pink and features the BooBee logo, the emblem of BreastFest – a symbol that represents the creativity, versatility and spirit of Greater Manchester. Two bras – a strapped and a strapless – form the wings and antennae of BooBee, reinforcing the link to breast cancer.

Colin Robertson, chief executive of Alexander Dennis, said:

“We are delighted to be able to support the phenomenal work undertaken by Prevent Breast Cancer by lending them an Enviro400 double deck. We hope the striking, bright pink BooBee Bus will not only help raise awareness of the disease but also provide a comfortable environment for any members of the public to hop on and have their questions or concerns addressed.”

BreastFest and Prevent Breast Cancer have partnered with Stagecoach Manchester to create the first BooBee Bus, an Enviro400 double-decker 78-person bus, which will be able to house a number of medical professionals, fundraisers and BooBees at a time.

Stagecoach Manchester managing director, Elisabeth Tasker, said:

“The BooBee Bus is such a fantastic idea, that has the potential to truly benefit the lives of women in Manchester and ultimately help to save lives. We’re so pleased to work with Prevent Breast Cancer and support them in helping educate the public on the early signs of breast cancer and the risk factors associated with this disease. We hope to see you along the way as the BooBee Bus makes its way around the city!”

The BooBee bus will be visiting the following key public locations at the following times, amongst many others:

  • 2nd October – Manchester City Council, Albert Square
  • 3rd October – The Great Northern
  • 4th October – The Refinery, Spinningfields
  • 5th October – Afternoon Bee and Talk, Manchester Central Convention Complex
  • 14th October – B Works, 48-50 Market St, Manchester, M1 1PW
  • 15th October – Manchester Airport Group
  • 21st to 25th October – Network Rail: Piccadilly Train Station Approach
  • 29th October – Egencia, an Expedia Inc. Company, at Piccadilly Gardens

To find out more about the campaign and how you can attend one of its events – the BooBee Talk and Afternoon Bee – visit the official BooBee website: www.boobee.co.uk/afternoon-bee-details