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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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Santa visits Spirit Group

The Christmas festivities continue at Spirit Group! The Christmas tree went up in our Didsbury office on Monday morning, and now it really feels like the big day is only just around the corner! This year we are celebrating Christmas in new surroundings, as the Didsbury team relocated to our new office in Kingston House…Read more »

The Christmas festivities continue at Spirit Group!

The Christmas tree went up in our Didsbury office on Monday morning, and now it really feels like the big day is only just around the corner!

This year we are celebrating Christmas in new surroundings, as the Didsbury team relocated to our new office in Kingston House earlier this winter. Thanks to the continued success and growth of Spirit Group, we now have a much larger office to house our ever-expanding team…and a much larger space to decorate! And, as our Alderley Park team look forward to their office move in the new year, it looks like Christmas 2019 will be just as exciting….

Spirit’s Festive Day!

On 12th December, everyone at Spirit Group came together to celebrate our annual Festive Day. We marked the occasion with baileys, prosecco, mince pies and – of course – our best Christmas jumpers!

We enjoyed drinks and treats with lots of Christmas music, before swapping our Secret Santa gifts left under the Christmas tree. Santa even dropped in to say hello!

After business hours, some of our team headed into town to soak up the atmosphere at the Manchester Christmas Markets. It was impossible to feel anything other than festive cheer whilst surrounded by all the food, drink, gifts and great company!

 

We’ve had some wonderful fun over the last few weeks whilst we prepare for Christmas, and our Christmas party this week promises to round off the seasonal celebrations in style.

From all of us here at Spirit Group, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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Festive Spirit!

The countdown to Christmas begins! With advent beginning, our Operations team made themselves busy bringing the spirit of Christmas to our offices! Chocolate advent calendars appeared on Friday for our hard-working teams, ready for the Christmas countdown… Wreath making On Monday, creativity was fully flowing as Henry, Becky, Fiona, Caroline, Jess, Eve and Michelle created…Read more »

The countdown to Christmas begins!

With advent beginning, our Operations team made themselves busy bringing the spirit of Christmas to our offices! Chocolate advent calendars appeared on Friday for our hard-working teams, ready for the Christmas countdown…

Wreath making

On Monday, creativity was fully flowing as Henry, Becky, Fiona, Caroline, Jess, Eve and Michelle created some beautiful yuletide wreaths. A fun activity that also provided a chance to showcase Spirit Group’s artistic flair!

Christmas cheer

Clare, Henry and Lisa attended the Towers carol singing workshop led by the vocal leader and choral conductor of the Hallé orchestra, Michelle Robinson. Although billed as a performance by the Hallé singers, it turned out that it was the team who would be singing along!

Christmas shopping

Spirit Group also took some time out of the office to enjoy the Worker Bee Market stalls. Named after the Towers’ resident bees, the markets showcased Manchester-made artisan talent, with lots of decorations, handmade crafts, jewellery, food, gifts and treats.

Christmas feasting

To round off a great week, some of the team got together at Alderley Park to enjoy a huge Christmas lunch. It was so lovely to be surrounded by such great company…and great food!

What a fun, festive week for Spirit Group! But the Christmas celebrations are only just beginning for us…

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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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Game, set and match for Spirit Group!

Our Spirit Group summer business update provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together the majority of the Spirit Group family – our Didsbury and Alderley Park teams and our remote workers from across the UK. We celebrated a further quarter of medical communications success and growth, and our enthusiastic and forward-thinking Working Groups updated us…Read more »

Our Spirit Group summer business update provided a fantastic opportunity to bring together the majority of the Spirit Group family – our Didsbury and Alderley Park teams and our remote workers from across the UK. We celebrated a further quarter of medical communications success and growth, and our enthusiastic and forward-thinking Working Groups updated us on the business initiatives they have been prioritising to further enhance the executional and operational excellence that Spirit Group is renowned for.

The day was rounded off nicely with our own Wimbledon-themed event – complete with Pimms, strawberries & cream and lots of Spirited fun!

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