A group of fundraising musicians who are a familiar sight in town centres in south Manchester and Cheshire are celebrating after raising £500,000 for Cancer Research UK.
The Loose Change Buskers were founded by Timperley and Altrincham musicians Bernard Dolan and John Fogel in 2010 when a close friend had cancer.
Since then the group has grown and now has 35 members, including musicians and volunteers who collect coins from members of the public.
They take it in turns to busk in town centres and at events in South Manchester and Cheshire, collecting loose change for Cancer Research UK.
Bernard said: “It’s amazing that we’ve managed raise half-a-million pounds for Cancer Research UK from busking in Manchester and Cheshire.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought we could make such a difference when we first started out busking all those years ago.
“Over the years the team of volunteers and the number of venues we play at has grown. Our musicians and bucket collectors – or ‘bucketeers’ as we call them – give up so much of their time, whatever the weather and we never lose sight of why we are doing this.
“Very sadly we all know someone who has been affected by cancer and we’ve lost members of the Buskers to cancer over the last eight years as well which has been very sad.
“We all know someone who has been affected by cancer and I think the public do too which is why they have dug so deep and supported us all over these years.
“We’ve been lucky enough to go and see some of the work carried out in Manchester by Cancer Research UK scientists and we know how important this work is and that’s what drives us to keep going.
“We can’t thank the generosity of the people in Manchester enough as they’ve always been very supportive of the work we do and are the main reason we have been so successful in raising this amazing sum.”
Trudy Stammer, Head of volunteer Fundraising at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’d like to thank the Loose Change Buskers for the huge contribution they have made to Cancer Research over the past eight years.
“We are incredibly grateful for their support. Come rain or shine they will be out doing what they do best – entertaining crowds in town centres and supermarkets, putting a smile on people’s faces and raising funds for vital research.
“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.”