Loose Change Buskers, the charity band started by two Altrincham musicians in 2010, is celebrating after raising an astonishing £500,000 for Cancer Research UK.
The group, who perform in town centres across Trafford, South Manchester and Cheshire, began fundraising for Cancer Research UK in 2010.
It was founded by Timperley and Altrincham musicians Bernard Dolan and John Fogel after a close friend’s battle with cancer.
Since then the group has grown and now has 35 members, including musicians and bucketeers who collect coins from members of the public.
They take it in turns to busk in town centres and at events in South Manchester and Cheshire every weekend, collecting loose change for Cancer Research UK.
Bernard Dolan, Chair of Loose Change Buskers, said: “I never in my wildest dreams thought we could make such a difference when we first started out busking all those years ago.
“Over the years the team of volunteers and the number of venues we play at has grown. Our musicians and bucket collectors – or bucketeers as we call them – give up so much of their time, whatever the weather and we never lose sight of why we are doing this. Very sadly we all know someone who has been affected by cancer and we’ve lost members of the Buskers to cancer over the last eight years as well which has been very sad.
“We’ve been lucky enough to go and see some of the work carried out in Manchester by Cancer Research UK scientists and we know how important this work is and that’s what drives us to keep going.
“We can’t thank the generosity of the people in Altrincham, South Manchester and Cheshire enough as they’ve always been very supportive of the work we do and are the main reason we have been so successful in raising this amazing sum.”
The group won Cancer Research UK’s Community Organisation of the Year 2018, and were also honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, in 2016.
Trudy Stammer, Head of volunteer Fundraising at Cancer Research UK, said: “We’d like to thank the Loose Change Buskers for the huge contribution they have made to Cancer Research UK. work over the past eight years. We are incredibly grateful for their support.”