Thursday 21st May 2020

A man is challenging the community to sing their favourite song, share it on Facebook and nominate three friends to do the same, in order to raise money for young people with cancer.
 
Dedicated fundraiser, Mike O’Leary, has already raised £15,000 with his ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ challenge. He is calling on others to sing, share, nominate and donate using the social media platform in a bid to reach his £20,000 fundraising target for Teenage Cancer Trust.
 
The 73-year-old has raised over £830,000 for Teenage Cancer Trust in the 13 years he has been fundraising for them. Despite being out of his comfort zone, and being restricted by the Coronavirus lockdown, he was determined to continue fundraising by “the only means possible” and turned to social media.
 
Mike O’Leary, who kicked off his fundraiser with his wife by singing Les Misérables’, ‘Do you Hear the People Sing’, said:
“I’m very passionate about the work Teenage Cancer Trust do and I’ve met some of the young people with cancer they support. The youngsters’ courage is incredible and the bond they have with the charity’s nurses and youth support coordinators is unbelievable.
 
“Can you Hear the People Sing is nothing like I’ve ever done before. Ordinarily, I organise a challenging charity walk or music and dinner type of event but this year we couldn’t do that. You can’t bring people together in person so instead, I thought I’d bring people together on social media.  I hope people have fun with it and join the challenge by singing, sharing, nominating three of their friends and of course, donating whatever they can to support Teenage Cancer Trust.”
 
Mike, who is Company Secretary for the Paddock Wood (Kent) based fruit and vegetable wholesaler, Hars & Hagebauer Ltd, received a generous donation of £2,000 from his company of over 20 years, edging him closer to his £20,000 target.
 
Hars & Hagebauer Ltd have supported Teenage Cancer Trust via Mike’s fundraising efforts for two decades. This year, Brian Critcher, founder of Cardiff based fruit company Agri SGJ, and his wife Carol, and Mark and Yvonne Tweddle of Jupiter Produce in Newport, Shropshire, join Mike in participating in his ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ challenge.
 
Liz Tait, Director of Fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust, said:
 “We are incredibly grateful to Mike and all of our amazing fundraisers. They are the cornerstone of the charity and without them, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide the specialist cancer care to the thousands of young people that we support.
 
“Like many charities, the Coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard. Many of our planned fundraising events have been cancelled, leaving us with half our expected income. However, young people with cancer are feeling more isolated than ever before so the challenge has never been greater.
 
“Cancer doesn’t stop for anything. We hope to hear the people sing and thank Mike for his continued support.”
 
Each day, seven young people aged 13-24 yrs hear the words ‘you have cancer’. Teenage Cancer Trust’s specialist nurses, support teams, and hospital units work within the NHS to provide young people with expert care and support, throughout their cancer treatment and beyond.  At the moment, many are working alongside NHS colleagues to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
You can donate to Mike O’Leary’s ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-o-leary3

ENDS
 
For more information or to set up an interview with Mike O’Leary or a Teenage Cancer Trust spokesperson, please contact:

Lauren Snaith, Media & PR Manager (Policy & Campaigns), on 07852 998234 or email lauren.snaith@teenagercancertrust.org
Ruwani Purcell, Deputy Director of Communications on 07958 222580 or email Ruwani.purcell@teenagecancertrust.org
For out of hours media enquiries, please contact the Duty Press Officer on 0757 225 1265. 
 
Notes to editors
• Donate to Mike O’Leary’s ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-o-leary3
 
• You can view Mike O’Leary launch ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ via his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/100012475817991/videos/880851025674083/
 
• You can view Mark and Yvonne Tweddle’s ‘Can you Hear the People Sing’ challenge via their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/100004168638503/videos/1622457364569869/

About Teenage Cancer Trust
• Cancer isn’t stopping for Coronavirus and neither is Teenage Cancer Trust. The charity has launched an urgent fundraising appeal to raise £5 million to maintain its frontline services. Donate today: www.teenagecancertrust.org/donate 
 
• Every day, seven young people in the UK aged 13 to 24 hear the words "you have cancer".
 
• Teenage Cancer Trust puts young people in the best possible place, physically, mentally and emotionally, for their cancer treatment and beyond.  
 
• We do it through our expert nurses, support teams, and hospital units. And we're the only UK charity dedicated to providing this specialised nursing care and support.  
 
• Teenage Cancer Trust is a registered charity: 1062559 (England & Wales), SC039757 (Scotland).