All posts by bantermedia

Setting up a charity at 22!?

In this post I’m going to be talking about why and how I set up the charity BaggyTrousersUK.

I was diagnosed with stage two testicular cancer that spread to nearby lymph nodes in my abdominal area, the treatment to cure this lasted over 4-6 months.

I had no idea what I was checking for, when I attended a doctor’s appointment for a viral infection the doctor asked if there was anything else worrying me, it was at that point I let the professional take over and check for me to be sure and put my mind at rest.

Within a matter of days I was sent for blood tests and an ultrasound scan – it happened so fast before I knew it I was diagnosed with cancer aged 21.

Luckily they managed to find the cancer before it spread further onto other parts of my body such as lungs and brain. After finishing the treatment, a question wouldn’t leave my mind until I did something about it – how many other young men like myself are out there worried, not wanting to go to the doctors and unsure what they’re checking for.

I decided to do some research into the statistics and the other charities out there raising awareness of the condition and noticed there wasn’t any awareness going on in Greater Manchester.

With the support from other charities I decided to set up BaggyTrousersUK with the vision and aim to increase awareness around a condition that almost took my life and reduce late diagnosis by promoting regular self checking.

In the past twelve months I’ve met some amazing people with the same vision and aims as me, there was a lot of doubt at the beginning whether I was going to do this, it wasn’t a case of proving people wrong just merely getting on with it and finding that inner passion to raise awareness.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho

If detected early, the chances of survival are second to none, there’s also reduced side effects and less-intense treatment, this also reduces the risk of long-term side effects too.

Bungee in December – Are you MAD!?

Yes, that’s right I decided to have our first ever fundraising event as a bungee jump in the worst possible month of the year!

This post is to give you an insight into the first fundraising event organised for BaggyTrousersUK, the full details will be included in our annual report.

Upon setting up the charity I needed to organise a fun and thrilling fundraising event to generate funds to get the charity started/on its feet. You have to learn to walk before you can run they say, I certainly tried doing the opposite by setting the goalpost of committing to a minimum of 30 jumpers.

With the help from others I achieved the 30 jumpers for the original set date in November however Salford council couldn’t permit BungeeUK to operate on that date as there was a football match in the local area the same day.

When I re-scheduled around 10 jumpers couldn’t attend due to not being available on the new proposed date. We weren’t worried as there was still 20 jumpers and time to recruit more.

As time was ticking it was getting closer and closer to the event date, I still only had around 20 jumpers, I made the decision to contact BungeeUK to reduce our first proposed 30 jumpers to a new number of 20, sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth and work with what you’ve got.

Each jumper was set to raise £100, anything more was a bonus! – One jumper did an amazing job in fundraising for us and achieved £420.

Leading up to the event the weather was still warmish and I had thoughts of it being quite warm conditions on the day of the jump, how wrong was I? on the 5th December 2014 the temperature dropped to around 2 °C and what made conditions worse we were jumping over Salford Quays dock that was open and exposed for wind to hit from all angles.

A lot of the jumpers did their jump and left pretty much straight after (I don’t blame them I’d of done the same), I had the best job of the day – making sure everyone was alright and organising jumping orders whilst doing two tandem jumps myself (I was scared of heights until after that day) the side effects from the chemotherapy saw myself and another cancer survivor freeze all day and its not good when you have Raynaud’s Syndrome

Overall, it was a fantastic day and I like to think everyone enjoyed it. I’d also like to thank everyone that was involved, if you would like to see the pictures from the day CLICK HERE.

Kick-about with Business

Looking back on the tournament it was great to see people coming together for a very worthwhile cause and showing their support.

The time and effort we have all spent organising the tournament in the 2 months leading up to it was 100% more than worth it.


The tournament brought together a mix of work colleagues, friends and family and the response from those involved has been very positive. 

We hope the event reminded people of what we are trying to do and introduced and informed others of our aims and objectives.

On the day we had a total of 10 teams competing in two groups. The top two teams advanced to the semi-finals. Well done to Wii Man FC for going all the way and taking the honours. 

Thanks to everyone involved and a special thanks to the following:

  • Volunteers on the day: Sandra Perrin, Richard Smith, Kevin Taylor, Andrew and Julie Wilkinson, Samantha Howe, Fiona Aspinall, Michael Howe and Bamo Nouri.
  • Yarwood Building Services for sponsorship of 1st prize.
  • Fisams Cakes and Buffet for producing a great selection of cakes along with a custom cake for us!
  • A W Photography for producing some amazing photos which will be available for download from their website and ours too, we will update once the edits have been made.
  • Jon Beckett and his team from O2 Ashton/Manchester Fort they also donated five raffle prizes and vouchers.
  • Yvonne and her team from Santander Ashton/Manchester they made a generous donation on the day.
  • Kevin and his team from Hyde Fundraisers along with the help announcing the raffle and donating several raffle prizes coming from About Tameside.
  • Gary and his team from the Money Plus Group.
  • Janet & Lorraine with their team from Pearsons Legal and their donation of a case of wine (picture of it) also duly noted how fit John was playing a fast paced game at 58!
  • JP from Powerleague for accommodating to our every need on the day and working until 2am the night before the event.
  • All the lads from Bardsley Construction, The AA and all other players.

 What we plan to do with the money raised:

  • Invest in graphical services to enhance our awareness campaign to ensure it is adapted to the target audience age of 15-35, this will help young males understand the importance of checking on a regular basis along with an eye catching diagram of how to check.
  • Supply funding for our text reminder service which is in the development stages.
  • Drive our social media awareness to a new level allowing us to get the message across in a much better way.

How to bag yourself a corporate sponsor!

In this post I will be talking you through the process of when businesses give back, THEY GIVE BACK!

I attended a ‘speed-dating’ networking event hosted by Tameside4Good and Tameside Council (Made in Tameside) on the 19th May 2015 at BrotherUK in Ashton-under-Lyne.

I was joined by 14 other charities and 15 businesses wanting to know what they can do to give back to their community. The idea of the event was to bring the hard working volunteering organisations/charities and local businesses together to help the community.

Each charity had five minutes to pitch how they think the business could help them and communicate as effectively as possible, first impressions were a big part of this networking event.

I attended the event with no expectations other than the charities best interests at heart, I spoke with companies such as: Santander, O2 (Formby Connections), New Charter, Bardsley Construction, Tameside Council, IKEA and Benchmark Building Supplies.

The event was opened by Phill Brown – Managing Director of Benchmark Building Supplies, then stepped up the Ambassador from Timpson to talk about what they have done to help prisoners gain back their lives – They’re all about second chances.

After brief introductions lasting 30 seconds to 1 minute, that left me four minutes to negotiate a potential donation of time, money or resources. In that four minutes the businesses had a criteria to hit before making a decision to help the charity pitching for support.

I asked Santander, O2 and Bardsley Construction to enter a team into our five-a-side football tournament due in a month’s time, they accepted and pledged to enter a team for this tournament. They also pledged to give raffle prizes to contribute towards the fundraising day.

Saving the best until last, by this time I’d pitched similar information to 14 businesses, Benchmark Building Supplies was last on the agenda – Phill Brown the Managing Director also sat in for this one which surprised me and put the pressure on a little.

I expressed to Phill and his colleague why I started the charity and what I was looking to achieve, it was at that moment the process of the event changed, instead of me pitching to Phill what I’d pitched to the other, Phill simply told me what he has to offer.

The offer was more than anyone could’ve expected and a fantastic result not only for BaggyTrousersUK but Tameside4Good as the event organisers.

Phill pledged the following:

  • Sand and Stone tonne bags with the charities message and branding to generate exposure and an optional 50p donation per bag from clients of Benchmark Building Supplies.
  • Funds to create a brand new website developed by the award winning digital agency Banter Media.
  • Digital marketing apprentice at our disposal for any marketing needs.

I left this event ready to cry with joy from the response and atmosphere of the event. The new contacts I’d acquired will become very useful and vital to the charities development and operation.

  • My advice for any other charity attending an event like this:
  • Be yourself – Don’t try to be someone you’re not.
  • Have no expectations – If you leave with something it is a bonus!
  • Enjoy it – Speak to people that have experience you prosper to gain.
  • Be confident – First impressions seal the deal.