How Tickled Pink has made a huge difference to breast cancer care in the last 25 years

September 30, 2021

Our Tickled Pink breast cancer charity campaign is celebrating its 25th anniversary – and we'd like to say a huge thank you to all the generous customers, colleagues and suppliers who've helped it make a difference to so many people.

With thanks to the fantastic efforts of our colleagues and supporters who've organised so many creative fundraising events, our limited edition branded products and George range of Tickled Pink clothing, we've raised more than £71 million for our charity partners Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! since Tickled Pink launched in 1996.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer, accounting for 15% of all cancer diagnoses among British women and men.

That's why Jo Warner, Senior Director of Better Communities at Asda, says it's important to celebrate how much has been achieved by the campaign, as well as continuing to get behind it.

She said: "To everyone who has organised a fundraising event in one of our stores and all those who've put their hands in their pockets to make a donation, thank you.

"What's just as important as the money raised to fund the amazing work Breast Cancer Now and CoppaFeel! do is the difference that Tickled Pink makes by raising awareness of important issues such as checking yourselves regularly and seeking medical advice early if you're concerned about anything.

"Breast cancer affects the lives of so many people, and there's much more to be done, but I look forward to seeing how much of a difference we can all make together."

The money raised by Tickled Pink has funded a variety of pioneering work making a big difference to breast cancer research and care across the UK.

One of our biggest achievements has been supporting the creation of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank. It’s the UK’s first ever national tissue bank dedicated to collecting samples from people with breast cancer. With 52,000 samples available, the bank is making research faster and more reliable by giving scientists the ability to study real breast cancer samples from different angles. Asda Tickled Pink has raised over £5 million towards the Tissue Bank, which has supported its running for over nine years helping us understand breast cancer and find better ways to treat it.

We fund further projects across the UK which are looking for ways to save lives and help people live well with and beyond breast cancer. One example is at the Breast Cancer Now Toby Robins Research Centre in London, where our money helps researchers look for weaknesses in breast cancer and explore new, kinder treatments. Ultimately, the researchers want to improve chances of survival for thousands of patients.

The money raised by Tickled Pink also supports Breast Cancer Now's life-changing support services. If you have a question about breast cancer or need to talk to someone, Breast Cancer Now’s highly-trained nurses are there for free on the charity’s helpline, 0808 800 6000. You can also email them at nurse@breastcancernow.org. This includes funding over £180,000 for the ‘Someone Like Me’ service which aims to make over 1,300 matches between service users and volunteers.

Tickled Pink charity partner CoppaFeel! aims to ensure that all breast cancers are diagnosed at the earliest stage possible by encouraging and educating young people to get to know their boobs and pecs and empowering them to get anything unusual checked out. Together we will prioritise awareness of the importance of regular boob checking, knowing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, and championing CoppaFeel!’s message that whatever your age or gender, getting to know your body and chest could save your life. We will be funding new projects over the next three years which will enable CoppaFeel! to reach significantly more people and achieve our joint aim of increasing monthly checking amongst 18-24 year olds in the UK from 36% to 47%, which means an extra 600,000 young people adopting regular boob checking behaviour by 2024. You can sign up to receive free monthly text reminders to check your chest by texting ASDA to 70300. For all the T&C’s, visit www.coppafeel.org/remind-me/remind-me-sms

Rachael Franklin, Director of Fundraising, Communications & Engagement at Breast Cancer Now, says the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic mean Tickled Pink's work is more important than ever.

She said: “The devastating impact of COVID-19 means people with breast cancer need our support more than ever. Yet the pandemic has also been a hugely challenging time for Breast Cancer Now, as much of our vital work has been on pause for over a year – from our face-to-face services for people affected by breast cancer, to researchers losing around 230,000 hours in the lab.

“Since 1996, our award winning and transformational Tickled Pink partnership has raised a staggering £71 million of vital funds for world-class research and life-changing care but with one woman diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every 10 minutes there’s so much more still to do.

“We are hugely grateful to everyone who has supported Tickled Pink over so many years, from tombolas and hosting pyjama parties, to epic treks and bicycle rides, the dedication and commitment of Asda colleagues, customers and suppliers is helping Breast Cancer Now to change the future of breast cancer in the UK.”

Lindsey Cape, Director of Fundraising at CoppaFeel!, said: “CoppaFeel! is over the moon to have joined the Asda Tickled Pink partnership alongside Breast Cancer Now ahead of this significant 25th anniversary year. Being part of this remarkable partnership is truly game-changing for our charity and will allow us to share our life-saving, chest-checking message with many more young people across the UK.

“CoppaFeel! exists to give all young people the best chance of surviving breast cancer, by ensuring that every case is diagnosed early and correctly. The support and funding we will receive from Asda customers, colleagues and suppliers, will go towards growing our digital presence, increasing our reach and awareness, and developing and strengthening our health and education programmes. Through this funding from Asda we hope to encourage an extra 600,000 young people to adopt regular boob-checking behaviour by 2024.

“We would like to say thank you to everyone who has supported Asda Tickled Pink over the last 25 years and helped to raise such an incredible amount of money for breast cancer charities. CoppaFeel! is so excited to be part of the next 25 years, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the partnership.”

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