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28th Jun 2019 in Community

Several companies in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter took part in a fund-raising initiative to help raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK recently.

They joined staff from businesses across the city in the ‘Rowathon’ hoping to raise money for the charity.

Teams headed to gyms – or used rowing machines in their premises – to virtually row as far as they can during the four hours.

Gareth Neill, manager of Destination Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), said it was an excellent way for work colleagues to engage in some friendly rivalry, while at the same time helping raise funds for a worthy cause.

“I’m delighted several companies in the area joined in in this event. I’m sure, although exhausting, it was good fun as employees competed against each other in a good-natured way – with the common goal to raise as much money as possible for the charity,” he said.

Staff from the Duke of York pub, along with two local solicitors’ firms – Edwards and Co and Quigg Golden – put their oars in for the charity.

Bernie McGarry, senior health promotion and training officer at Bowel Cancer UK (NI), said that they ran the event for the first time in 2017; “This time we’ve been able to get more companies involved and have set ourselves a target of raising £8,000. We very much appreciate everyone for their support and hopefully they’ll all very much enjoying taking part.”

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Northern Ireland and the second biggest cancer killer. Every year around 1,100 people are diagnosed with the disease here, with around one in three dying from it.

However it is treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

Symptoms can include:

* bleeding from your bottom/blood in your stools;

* a persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit;

* unexplained weight loss;

* extreme tiredness for no obvious reason;

* a pain or lump in your stomach.

Volunteers in NI, who have been affected by bowel cancer in some way, deliver talks to groups in local communities and workplaces to advise people about the signs, symptoms and risk factors and provide information on the bowel cancer screening programme.

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