We all spend a great deal of our lives in the workplace, forging lasting friendships and in times of need feeling the helping hand and support of colleagues around us. When tragedy struck Fred Stephens, an employee at Aberdeen-based Hydro Group, the team wanted to show their support for a charity close to his heart.
In January this year, Fred’s wife Shona lost her five-year battle with breast cancer. “Shona was an incredibly strong person,” said Fred. “She fought the cancer, going through three separate courses of chemotherapy, all while remaining positive in front of me and our two young children.”
During Shona’s treatment she was determined to raise money for several cancer charities, doing everything from car boot sales to home baking.
“Over a period of four or five years Shona must have personally raised in the region of £3000 for cancer charities and was a keen supporter of Macmillan Cancer Support,” said Fred.
Tragically Shona’s battle with the disease ended in January and Fred, with the help of family, friends and colleagues, began to put the pieces of his life back together.
“It has only been in the last three months that I have really started to come to terms with it and speak about Shona more freely. Nobody and nothing can prepare you for going through something like this, but with the support of people around me, I’m starting to come through it.” Aware of the heart-breaking loss Fred had suffered, the team at Hydro Group wanted to organise an event to show their support for him.
Having done a little research Hydro Group’s managing director Doug Whyte discovered that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with October 31st being Wear It Pink Day. Doug said, “Cancer touches the lives of so many people. I’m starting to lose count of the people I have known that have been struck down by this terrible illness. The team here at Hydro Group wanted to find an activity where the whole company could get involved and show support for a cancer charity and for Fred”
The Hydro Group team set about organising their own Wear It Pink day and invited all members of staff to a company barbecue. Everyone who attended created their own pink themed outfit, and a total of £800 was raised for Breast Cancer Campaign. This year, Breast Cancer Campaign is daring everyone in the UK to wear an item of pink on October 31 and donate £2 each to the charity to help beat breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Campaign uses all Wear It Pink donations to fund innovative, world-class research throughout the UK to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure. The campaign currently supports 112 research projects, worth over £14.5 million in 50 centres of excellence across the UK. Fred added: “I organise and take part in things like football fundraisers for several cancer charities each year, and I really appreciate the fundraising efforts of my work colleagues. The barbecue was a chance for us all to get together and have a good time while raising money for such a good cause. “We’d recommend other companies take part and get involved with their own pink day.”