On Friday 26th and Saturday 27th August, Kirkistown Race Circuit will be hosting its biggest race meeting of the year, which includes the Leinster Trophy. More about the content of that will follow next week.
There are two big charity connections to this prestigious meeting.
On the Friday evening, around 6:00pm, a sponsored walk around a lap of the circuit has been organised Darren Gilmore, who is marshal and organiser of the Five Hundred Motor Racing Club events. It costs £5 to participate and all funds will go to the Newtownards Food Bank. Later that same evening a charity dinner will take place in the club house restaurant. Once again, the profits from this will go to the Newtownards Food Bank. Unfortunately, the tickets for this are now completely sold out.
The Newtownards Food Bank is operated by The Thriving Life Church and is one of 428 food banks in the UK that come under the umbrella of The Trussell Trust. Anyone who is given a voucher by one of over thirty agencies on the peninsula is guaranteed three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support. In the first 6 months of this year this local food bank has fed 1205 people from 444 families in the area and have seen a 40% increase in clients in June alone. The food bank continues to be busy throughout the summer and the fear is that it will be busier than ever when Autumn and Winter come.
In 2021/22, The Trussell Trust’s Foodbank Network nationally provided 2,173,158 three-day emergency food supplies and support to UK people in crisis. Of these, 832,109 went to children.
On both the Friday and the Saturday of the race meeting, OG Cancer NI will have their new Transit van and stand on display just outside the clubhouse. The van will support those who are already being treated, people who are worried about symptoms, or those who have recently received a diagnosis.
Health Minister Robin Swann has recently said: “Early diagnosis is key to fighting this disease, therefore raising awareness of the symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancer is vital. For anyone who is concerned or worried, please speak to your GP.
“This new mobile unit will not only help raise awareness but will also be a very important source of support for those in Northern Ireland who have been diagnosed with this type of cancer.”
“Symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancer include persistent heartburn or acid reflux that doesn’t go away, trouble swallowing, sudden weight loss, regurgitation or hiccups that do not go away,” he said. “I personally know how important it is that this type of cancer is caught early.”
According to the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, only 10.4% of upper gastrointestinal cancer patients are diagnosed at the earliest stage. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed at the earliest stage is 68%, compared to two percent for those diagnosed at stage four.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, please call in to the OG stand and have a chat with them. All of the people on duty are first hand OG Cancer survivors.