Charity

Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Spirit Group; an informative talk on risk and prevention by Dr Michelle Harvie, and lots of pink-themed fundraising!

Breast cancer is the biggest cause of death of women aged between 35 and 49, and roughly 55,000 people are diagnosed every year. This means that 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, as well as around 1 in 1000 men.[1]  In recognition of the widespread reach of this illness, Spirit…Read more »

Breast cancer is the biggest cause of death of women aged between 35 and 49, and roughly 55,000 people are diagnosed every year. This means that 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, as well as around 1 in 1000 men.[1]  In recognition of the widespread reach of this illness, Spirit Group has spent the past month taking part in a number of charitable and educational activities for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Kicking off the charitable activities in the Spirit Group offices, our Operations Assistant Becky attended a talk at Alderley Park hosted by research dietician Dr Michelle Harvie and fundraising representatives from Prevent Breast Cancer, the sole UK charity dedicated to researching the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. They are based at The Nightingale Centre in Wythenshawe, Manchester – the only breast cancer prevention centre in the UK.

The talk centred around breakthroughs in diagnostic treatments, inspirational stories of the women fighting cancer on the front lines and also how we can best improve our chances of avoiding the cancer altogether.

Whilst women are biologically predisposed to the risks of developing breast cancer – and some women are more susceptible due to genetic factors – Dr Harvie explained that Western culture and lifestyle have had a major impact on the increasing rate of breast cancer. She outlined how simple lifestyle changes could prevent up to 25% of cases:[2][3]

  • Control your alcohol intake – it’s recommended you drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
  • Avoid smoking – the risk of developing breast cancer appears to be greater if smoking begins at a younger age, and particularly before having your first-born child.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – a 3-stone weight gain can double your chances of developing breast cancer.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet – include lots of fruit, vegetables, lean protein and wholegrain carbohydrates whilst reducing saturated fat and added sugar.

Finally, Dr Harvie stressed that she wanted weight loss and management to be an affordable, attainable target for women looking to better protect themselves against breast cancer. Her research in the area has resulted in the emergence of the increasingly popular Intermittent or 2-Day Diet, in which dieters adopt 2 ‘fasting’ low-calorie days into their weekly schedule whilst eating freely (albeit sensibly) for the rest of the week. The results have been incredibly successful, with ~7 in 10 dieters successfully losing weight and maintaining weight loss. More information can be found in Dr Harvie’s book The 2-Day Diet: Diet Two Days a Week. Eat Normally for Five.[4]

It’s clear that Dr Harvie and everyone at Prevent Breast Cancer are continuing to work tirelessly to improve screening procedures, pursue research into genetic vulnerabilities, and campaign and raise money for services that will better protect women from breast cancer. Their work is truly inspiring!

To celebrate and support the great work being done by breast cancer charities such as Prevent Breast Cancer, we painted the town pink with our rosy-hued garments for the Wear It Pink Campaign on Friday 18th October. Everyone wore their brightest clothing into the Spirit Group offices for a pink party, complete with a pink-themed drinks trolley! A few of us were surprised at just how many pink items we owned…

We also competed against one another in a pink-themed quiz, featuring questions that ranged from Grease’s Pink Ladies to the pink city of Jaipur.

It’s been a fantastic month learning about the latest oncological innovations taking place in Manchester and helping to raise awareness and money for leading breast cancer charities – and we’ve been doing it in style, as you can see from our pink-filled picture!

[1] About Us. https://preventbreastcancer.org.uk/about-us/ (Accessed 30 October 2019).

[2] Diet and Lifestyle. https://preventbreastcancer.org.uk/breast-cancer-research/research-projects/diet-and-lifestyle/ (Accessed 28 October 2019).

[3] Causes and Risk Factors. https://preventbreastcancer.org.uk/about-breast-cancer/causes-and-risk-factors/ (Accessed 29 October 2019).

[4] The 2 Day Diet. https://preventbreastcancer.org.uk/2_day_diet/ (Accessed 29 October 2019).

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Mental Health Awareness Week at Spirit Group

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and at Spirit Group we’ve been busy exploring ways to support the wellbeing of ourselves and others around us. Mental health is just as important as physical health, although it is often overlooked due to the associated stigma. Taking time away from your desk to walk and talk…Read more »

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and at Spirit Group we’ve been busy exploring ways to support the wellbeing of ourselves and others around us.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, although it is often overlooked due to the associated stigma. Taking time away from your desk to walk and talk with colleagues is just one act of care you can do for yourself, as well as offering support to others, during the working day.

We’ve spent the past two weeks at Spirit Group putting this into practice by challenging ourselves to walk as far as possible in our charity Spirit Group Step Count Challenge. Together we’ve walked a total of 3,385,423 steps – the same distance as walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats two and a half times! We will be donating all of the money raised to key mental health charities to help support those who are struggling.

On World Mental Health Day, we also erected a Positivity Wall in the Spirit Group offices and invited everyone to share activities and tricks that make us feel better when we’re stressed or anxious. The result was a beautiful rainbow display of suggestions; from meditation to playing with pets, various forms of exercise, baking, colouring, poetry, writing letters to friends and family and many, many more recommendations. It was great to see so many different ideas, and acted as a powerful reminder that everybody needs to unwind and take time for themselves.

Spirit Group is proud to provide support and raise awareness of the challenges associated with mental health, not just this week but all year round.

#EveryMindMatters #MentalHealth

 

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Taking time out at Spirit Group

We have been getting involved in a range of volunteer work and activities to raise money for our amazing nominated charity, the Seashell Trust! Spirit Group teams have been taking time out of their busy work days to get down and dirty, doing much-needed ground works in the Seashell Trust gardens ahead of Autumn’s arrival….Read more »

We have been getting involved in a range of volunteer work and activities to raise money for our amazing nominated charity, the Seashell Trust!

Spirit Group teams have been taking time out of their busy work days to get down and dirty, doing much-needed ground works in the Seashell Trust gardens ahead of Autumn’s arrival.

The Spirit to ride

On Sunday 16th September, six members of Team Spirit Group donned their helmets and lycra for the Seashell Trust’s Cycling Sportive fundraiser event. Ed, Eve, Debbie, Laura, Lizzie and Steph bravely faced off the gruelling elements to cycle their chosen 50km or 75km routes through the hilly Peaks. Some of the pot holes they encountered put the Grand Canyon to shame!

A real test of endurance for our team and a brilliant outcome, with loads of money raised for the Seashell Trust to boot!

But the fundraising efforts haven’t stopped there for us – our office snack box exchanges donations for a selection of delicious and healthy nibbles, allowing us to collect money for the Seashell Trust every day. Even more tempting treats have appeared at both our Didsbury and Alderley Park offices in the form of a Bake Off, bringing in more donations!

 

We can’t wait for what the next few months hold as we continue to work together to raise all we can for the Seashell Trust!

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The Spirit of giving back

Spirit Group is very pleased to announce that our nominated charity for 2018/19 will be the Seashell Trust, based in Cheadle Hulme, very near our Didsbury offices! Founded in 1873 as a school for deaf children, Seashell Trust now offers specialist programmes of care for children and young people with complex learning difficulties in their…Read more »

Spirit Group is very pleased to announce that our nominated charity for 2018/19 will be the Seashell Trust, based in Cheadle Hulme, very near our Didsbury offices!

Founded in 1873 as a school for deaf children, Seashell Trust now offers specialist programmes of care for children and young people with complex learning difficulties in their school, college and residential care homes.

Spirit Group teams from our Didsbury and Alderley Park offices will be getting stuck in at Seashell volunteer days and organising all kinds of activities to raise what we can for this wonderful cause. Some of the things we hope to get involved in are:

  • Administration
  • Befriending
  • Classroom support
  • Events
  • Gardening
  • Swimming and sport
  • Therapy

The funds we raise will go towards activity trips, assistive technology to help with communication and development, family events to support the parents and siblings of Seashell’s children and young people, and sports and therapy equipment.

We look forward to sharing our fund-raising and volunteering experiences that will all go towards improving the learning outcomes and quality of life of Seashell’s children and young people.

If you would like to learn more about Seashell and the work they do, please visit them at:

http://www.seashelltrust.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/Seashelltrust

https://twitter.com/seashelltrust

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