‘Phenomenal’ growth of Music v Cancer charity that has followers in 27 countries

CHARITY CALL: Tony Larkin is encouraging local businesses to help raise money for Music v Cancer
CHARITY CALL: Tony Larkin is encouraging local businesses to help raise money for Music v Cancer

THE business community is being encouraged to get on board with an ever-expanding music charity which is earning global recognition.

Music v Cancer was the brainchild of Hartlepool man Tony Larkin, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer back in 2009.

Now clear of the disease, Tony dedicates his spare time to helping the charity grow through a string of fundraising events and some high-profile gigs.

And with a double-header event coming at Hartlepool’s Grand Hotel on April 10 and 11, Tony says there is still time for businesses to get involved through various sponsorship packages.

Tony said: “All of the events we have had have proved to be huge successes, and I’m confident this one will be no different.

“We have an amazing line-up which we are in the process of confirming, and as usual we will have a host of unique memorabilia available through the auction we host on both nights.

“There are plenty of opportunities for local businesses to get on board with what we are doing, and we’d love to hear from anyone who would like to be part of what is turning out to be a fantastic journey for MvC.

“When I set this up, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would grow as it has. I was looking through our followers on social media recently, and we’ve been acknowledged in no fewer than 27 different countries.

“That is just phenomenal.”

Acts which have performed for MvC include Jack Savoretti, The Blow Monkeys, Nizlopi, Black, Jon Allen, Turin Brakes and David McAlmont.

BBC TV presenter and musician Jools Holland is the charity’s official patron.

Meanwhile, stars including The Arctic Monkeys, The Stereophonics, Peter Gabriel, Gary Barlow and Jessie J have donated signed memorabilia to MvC helping to generate in excess of £150,000.

Those funds have been put to good use supporting health professionals at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust to detect the early signs of cancers, but particularly bowel cancer.

Last year the charity donated £36,000 to the Trust to purchase two bladder cancer probes to detect the condition much quicker.

Tony added: “We have been able to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds in the early detection of cancer and raise awareness of these conditions.

“Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in the UK with statistics revealing Hartlepool as the town with the highest death-rate linked with the disease.”

Various local businesses are already on board with MvC, including Phoenix Steel, Attco, Ward Bros, Gowler Special Projects, Total Recycling, J&B Recycling, Hart Biologicals and Coast Kitchens.

Hart Biologicals have been involved in previous MvC Weekenders, and cannot speak highly enough of the charity and the work it does.

Alby Pattison, managing director of Hart Biologicals, said: “We are proud to back a local charity that is doing so much good work in the region and for the medical and healthcare industry.

“My staff and I are regulars at the MvC Weekenders and are inspired by the passion and determination of the team. They are always looking to bring bigger and better acts to Hartlepool.”

Tony added: “We’re so grateful to everyone who has helped us over the years, and with more local businesses showing their support, who knows how far we can progress?”

To learn more about MvC or to get involved visit www.musicvcancer.com