FARMER and former international rugby player, Simon Best, is backing Action Cancer’s campaign to encourage the farming community to take stock of their health.
According to the Public Health Agency, the community is particularly susceptible to poor health and wellbeing.
This is partly driven by the wide demands impacting on farmers across a range of social and economic factors. They often work long and anti-social hours which can lead to social isolation and often difficulty accessing traditional health care services.
Action Cancer’s Big Bus, supported by SuperValu and its independent retailers, travels to around 220 locations per year, bringing cancer detection and prevention services to rural communities throughout Northern Ireland.
For the first time ever the Big Bus, an 18 metre-long articulated vehicle with expanding side pods, will be located at the Balmoral Show during 14th-16th May.
The Big Bus will be offering free M.O.T. health checks for men and women (16 plus) and free digital breast screening for women aged 40-49 and 70 plus (outside of NHS screening age).
M.O.T. health checks involve a number of assessments including cholesterol, blood glucose, body composition, blood pressure, facial skin analysis and peak flow measurements.
Action Cancer’s unique breast screening service identifies 6 breast cancers for every 1,000 women screened.
Simon explains why he’ll be jumping on board the Big Bus, “As a member of the farming community I understand the daily pressures that we all face; as a consequence our health can often be bottom of a long list of priorities.
“Don’t miss this unique opportunity to take stock of your health with Action Cancer at the Balmoral Show. Your appointment could be life-saving.”
The main sponsor of the Big Bus, retail group SuperValu and its independent retail partners, together have provided £1.2 million of funding for the mobile since 2006.
Donna Morrison, SuperValu Marketing Manager of Musgrave Retail Partners said: “We are very proud sponsors of Action Cancer’s Big Bus and the work of SuperValu’s charity partnership has gone a long way in helping bring life-saving detection services to thousands of people across Northern Ireland.
“This will be the Big Bus’s first visit to the Balmoral Show which I hope will raise awareness of its work within the rural community and I would encourage those visiting to take the opportunity to visit the Bus and get a check-up,” Donna added.
Over the course of the three days there will be 72 breast screenings and 60 M.O.T. health checks available. Show goers are advised to book appointments in advance to avoid disappointment. Book online at www.actioncancer.org or call Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344.