A partnership between the Manchester Evening News and Cancer Research UK has raised over £104,000 for the charity following a fire at its laboratory in the city.
The Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute was hit by a fire in April, resulting in years of research and millions of pounds worth of specialist equipment being damaged or destroyed.
Over 100 firefighters tackled the blaze at its height after around 400 scientists and support staff were led to safety. It took more than 48 hours to fully extinguish the fire, the cause of which is still being investigated.
A day after fire, the Manchester Evening News (M.E.N) devoted its front page to the launch of a joint fundraising appeal with Cancer Research UK with the call:
“Virtually every family in Manchester has been touched by cancer. That’s why the devastating blaze at the world-renowned Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute is not just a tragedy for scientists, researchers and patients – it’s a tragedy for us all.”
The M.E.N also heavily pushed the appeal via their own website and social media channels. Within 30 minutes of it launching, Cancer Research UK’s donations website temporarily crashed due to the number of people wanting to give money to the appeal. The campaign also received support from football stars including Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
Martin McGlown, head of Regional Media Relations at Cancer Research UK, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the response from the public following the launch of our appeal with the M.E.N. We have raised over £104,000 comprising thousands of individual donations.”
M.E.N Editor In Chief Rob Irvine said:
“This was a devastating fire within the grounds of The Christie Hospital, which holds a special place in the hearts of families across Manchester and the North West. Treatment at the hospital depends on pioneering work undertaken at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, so we felt compelled to partner with the charity and throw the resources of our editorial team behind the campaign.”
The M.E.N. also recently set up an appeal in the wake of the Manchester Arena attack, which has raised over £2.5m to date.