Last December a prolific, local fundraiser was invited to come along to our Managers Christmas meeting to talk about their journey after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. The aim was to raise awareness around the most common form of cancer among men, with 1 in 8 men facing a diagnosis.
Little did we know the amazing relationship that would come from this!
Not long after the formidable Paul Dennington spoke with our Managers, we received news that a member of our Anchorians volunteer team had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer. With the annual Steve Cooke Charity Shield not far away, this seemed like an obvious cause for Anchorians FC to support and we were delighted that Paul agreed to partner with us to help raise as much awareness and as many vital funds as possible.
As always, sponsorship and fees from our parents and coaches teams went towards the charitable cause, as did bucket collections, raffles and a Prostate UK stall hosted by Paul and his partner, Christine, on the day. At last count, an amazing £5500 was raised on the day; our biggest charity match total yet!
It's not just about raising money, it's about the awareness and being able to talk about this.
Speaking about why he chose his fundraising journey after his own diagnosis, Paul explained that it was more than just raising money: "It's about raising awareness and talking about prostate cancer. It's the most common form of cancer in men, yet we still don't always know the signs and symptoms, or even how we're able to get tested. And it affects everyone: not just men. We're all someone's partner or dad or brother, and a diagnosis affects the whole family.
"Being able to work with a club like Anchorians means we can help raise this awareness but also talk directly to men that could need that support or advice"
Paul has already raised over £50,000 from his activities, which you can follow and donate to on his Just Giving page. These funds will go towards lifesaving research, testing and awareness campaigns via Prostate Cancer UK.
We were also delighted to welcome Paul and Christine back during our 2023 Anchorians FC tournament, where they hosted a Prostate Cancer UK stall for the first day raising even more funds (and always making time for a chat!).
In total, with donations still coming in, we're expecting this partnership to have raised in the region of £6000!
Anchorians FC is a volunteer-run club, and we wouldn't be able to make the impact we do without the support of our Committee members and core volunteers who help us organise community events and charitable relationships like this. A huge thanks to those involved, and, of course, Paul and his family for their inspiration, conversations and support throughout this journey!