Beechwood Cancer Care Centre raises record £130,000 at comedy event with John Bishop

John Stevenson from sponsors Pareto FP, Beechwood's Angela Gray and John Bishop
John Stevenson from sponsors Pareto FP, Beechwood's Angela Gray and John Bishop

Comedian John Bishop gave everyone a laugh when headlining at an event in the city that raised £130,000 – a new record for Stockport charity Beechwood Cancer Care Centre.

The Man@Manchester comedy afternoon was enjoyed by hundreds of men at The Principal in the city centre to raise money for Beechwood, a charity that supports people with cancer and life-limiting illnesses, and through bereavement and trauma.

Earlier in the year, it played a vital role in supporting victims of the bombing at the Manchester Arena.

Bishop said: “I have a lot of affection for Manchester, my three sons grew up in Manchester, so it is always good to be here.

“I also volunteered for a cancer care centre when I was 17, which is one of the reason why I said I would perform for Beechwood.

“Working there was a massive lesson in life, why you should make the most of it, and do your best by everyone, but also it taught me you can always find a laugh where you would not necessarily think you can find a laugh.

“Everyone supporting Beechwood at the Man@Manchester event will have a massive effect on the life of someone they will never meet and I would like to say a big thank you to all of them.”

Darecy Stuart gave an emotional speech at the lunch
Darcey Stuart gave an emotional speech at the lunch

John was joined on the bill by fellow stand-up acts Gary Marshall, Colin Manford – brother to Jason – and magician Ben Hanlin.

The day, which is sponsored by Pareto FP, Brown Shipley Private Banking, Didsbury Magazine and Pension Help, included a three-course meal, auction, a raffle and has already run for three successful years.

This year is the biggest single amount the charity has raised at an event – smashing last year’s total by £55,000.

Darcey Stuart, 14, who uses the family counselling service at Beechwood, along with her 12-year-old sister, Connie, spoke at the event.

She said: “On November 23, 2014, my daddy died of pancreatic cancer, he was still smiling until the end, he was my best friend, and my heart broke into a thousand pieces when he died.

“I used to blame myself for his death, but that’s where Beechwood came in. Beechwood has been like another family to me and my sister, and I have got my confidence back. I hope people will support Beechwood, so more people like us can get their help.”

The event also saw the first play of a new campaign video for Beechwood #That£20Note by Standby Productions, which follows how a £20 donation is used at Beechwood to support people.

Angela Gray, fundraising manager at Beechwood, said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of money that was raised at this year’s event – it is absolutely phenomenal.

“It was great to see so much generosity. Thank you to all our supporters, sponsors and patrons for making it a day to remember.”

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