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FirstGroup unites with Prostate Cancer UK to launch new awareness campaign

10 Mar 2016

  • Posters on hundreds of FirstGroup buses and at railway stations across the country will help to raise awareness of the disease over the coming months, as part of Prostate Cancer UK’s “Men United” campaign.

FirstGroup has donated £300,000 of advertising space on its buses and at railway stations nationwide to launch the poster campaign, which will highlight how one man dies every hour from prostate cancer in the UK, and what commuters can do to put a stop to it.

The posters serve to raise awareness of a disease which currently affects over a third of a million men in the UK. The manly images are provocative, and the message powerful, which aims to catch the eye of many commuters who travel on FirstGroup buses and trains – in turn helping more men survive.

Thousands of FirstGroup’s employees chose Prostate Cancer UK as the company’s UK Charity of Choice partner after a vote. The three year partnership, which began in April 2015, aims to raise £1m to support Prostate Cancer UK’s work to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life.

Over the last few months the 25,000 employees of the Group’s bus and rail operations in the UK have helped raise funds and awareness with great events including Men United quizzes, cycle rides, sponsored runs, collections and cake sales.

Awareness-raising events and volunteer-led talks and stands have popped up in FirstGroup depots and offices across the UK, and donations received via FirstGroup over the next three years will also fund the production of one million 'Know Your Prostate' pocket guides which help men understand more about the disease.

FirstGroup will also continue to provide advertising space throughout the company’s extensive UK bus and rail networks, encouraging many more people to join the fight against prostate cancer.

Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive of FirstGroup, said:

“More than 330,000 men in the UK are living with prostate cancer, with one in eight men diagnosed with the disease at some stage in their lives. A key aim of our partnership is to ensure FirstGroup’s employees, customers and the wider community know their risk of prostate cancer, raising awareness of the disease and the support available from the charity.

I’m proud of the enthusiasm and passion that so many of our employees have shown for fundraising and supporting Prostate Cancer UK. It is truly inspiring.”

Angela Culhane, Chief Executive at Prostate Cancer UK said:

“It is fantastic to see our adverts displayed on buses and at railway stations across the UK, and we are very grateful to FirstGroup for donating this space.”

“Prostate cancer affects around a third of a million men in the UK, and nearly 11,000 men die every year from it. But not enough men are aware of it, so we needed an advert which is eye catching and attention grabbing. The message is clear – a man of the hour dies every hour from prostate cancer – and this must change. By getting on board and joining Men United, FirstGroup commuters are helping us fight back against the disease.”

The partnership with Prostate Cancer UK is a key part of FirstGroup’s community strategy and will run until 2018. 

Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can contact Prostate Cancer UK’s Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or via the online Live chat, instant messaging service at www.prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.

ENDS

For more information, please contact Stuart Butchers, Group Head of Media, FirstGroup plc – 020 7725 3354, stuart.butchers@firstgroup.com
Notes to Editors:

About prostate cancer:

  • Over 10,000 men die from prostate cancer in the UK each year. That's one man every hour.
  • It’s the most common cancer in men, with 330,000 living with and after the disease in the UK.
  • Prostate cancer is set to become the most commonly diagnosed cancer of all in the UK in 2030 - which is why we must all act now to curb its power to kill.
  • Prostate cancer treatment often causes devastating, long term side-effects. Incontinence and erectile dysfunction strike at the heart of what it means to be a man.
  • Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer may contact Prostate Cancer UK's Specialist Nurses in confidence on 0800 074 8383 or online via the Live Chat instant messaging service: www.prostatecanceruk.org. The Specialist Nurse phone service is free to landlines and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.
  • Visit www.prostatecanceruk.org now to help beat this disease.

About Prostate Cancer UK:

Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop men dying from prostate cancer.

Through shifting the science over the next 10 years to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention and support, we can make prostate cancer a disease the next generation of men need not fear. Standing against injustice, Men United is Prostate Cancer UK’s movement for everyone who believes that men are worth fighting for. Already more than a quarter of a million strong, Men United will help Prostate Cancer UK raise its game - and the funds vital to beat this disease. Working together, we can stop prostate cancer in its tracks.

To join the quarter of a million people already fighting for the disease and to help tame prostate cancer in ten years visit: menunited.prostatecanceruk.org

Further details on Prostate Cancer UK’s research priorities for the next ten years can be found here: http://prostatecanceruk.org/media/2492205/research-strategy-3-priority-areas.pdf

About FirstGroup plc:
FirstGroup plc is the leading transport operator in the UK and North America and our services help to create strong, vibrant and sustainable local economies. During the last year around 2.4 billion people relied on us to get to work, to education, to visit family and friends and much more and, each day, every one of our 110,000 employees works hard to deliver vitally important services for our passengers.
Our vision is to provide solutions for an increasingly congested world… keeping people moving and communities prospering.

About First Bus:
FirstGroup is one of Britain’s largest bus operators with around a fifth of bus services outside London. A fleet of some 6,300 buses carries approximately 1.7 million passengers a day in a huge number of communities including 40 of the UK's largest towns and cities. We operate some US-style yellow school buses and have a fleet of coaches available for charter. We also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland.

About First Rail:

FirstGroup is one of the most experienced rail operators in the UK and the only one to run every sort of railway - long distance, regional, commuter and sleeper operations. We carried more than 280 million passengers in 2014/15.

  • We operate two passenger franchises – Great Western Railway (GWR) and First TransPennine Express – and one open access operator, First Hull Trains.
  • We operate the Tramlink network on behalf of Transport for London carrying more than 32 million passengers a year and the Heathrow Connect service in partnership with Heathrow Airport.

For more information about FirstGroup and our divisions please visit www.firstgroupplc.com