Monday 16 May 2016

Each round is a trial and never give up when it comes to research. Let's all fight together!

 In February, I came across on my twitter timeline Paul Cashmore (from channel 4's #Hunted Show) tweeting about about a boxing event @uwcb1  and their Ultra White Collar Boxing's event. It also mentioned that it was in aid of Cancer Research UK and Paul stated he would be competing at one of their boxing matches. 
 I was interested in what this was all about and so decided to read about about it. The thing that caught my attention was how much they raised so far for charity, later you'll find out in my interview how much they raised for Cancer Research UK.  
I had to blog about this fantastic fundraiser that everyone is taking part in.
 Whatever you think about boxing it's getting people moving and actually exercising. 
For some it has been a while since they've done this and this is a good exercise to keep up your stamina.
It's not like they're baking cakes for a cake sale and eating them all full of sugar.  When raising money for charity through a cake sale they're promoting unhealthy sugary cakes when if anything we should be trying to discourage it because some cancers are down to diet.  We should all be promoting healthy eating habits if obesity is to be tackled. Not many people exercise as much in the overall population and I see this as a great innovation to raise lots of money for charity while also helping focus the boxer's mind to become fit and healthy.  Even the boxing ring girls have to exercise daily to stay in shape. All this benefits their long term health and helps to promote an active lifestyle. 

Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB):

"White Collar Boxing events across the UK.
 Get 8 Weeks FREE training, Get in the best shape of your life and Raise money for Cancer Research UK."


 1) What is UWCB all about?

UWCB is about getting people in great shape, raising money for Cancer Research UK and Providing an Amazing Experience.

 2) Who founded UWCB & when was it founded?

 UWCB Was founded in Derby in 2009 by Director Jon Leonard, we now run events in over 90 cities across the UK.

3) Why was CRUK chosen as the charity to fundraise for? - personal reasons/someone affected by cancer you know?

 We don't have any reason why Cancer Research UK was our chosen charity, we just wanted to raise money for a great charity and help others.

4) What was your original target you thought you'd reach fundraising wise?

5) Are you surprised by how much money has been raised so far? Over £3 million isn't it?

6) Is the aim to get £6 million by the end of 2016?

We have exceeded Every fundraising target we have set we are amazed that we are heading towards £4 Million with a target of £6 Million by Christmas 2016. We can't thank the people taking part enough for their hard work and dedication to helping us raise this amazing target so far!

 7) Who can take part in UWCB (men & women) & what's involved?

 UWCB Is aimed at male and female beginners of all ages (18+).

 8) How long is training?

It involves 8 weeks of free training and you get to box at an event at the end of it.

9) For those worried about safety, what do you do to look out for boxers health?

10) What team is involved in their care?

At all events, safety is our primary concern, at our events Medical solutions provide medical care (They provide medical care for England boxing & Professional Boxing Organisations) To ensure the safety of all of our participants, we make sure that we strictly adhere to our rules and regulations. Here is a summary of the guidelines provided to us: All Boxers are to have a medical before and after they box. You must be aged 18 or over to compete All boxers train together to ensure fairly matched bouts Bouts contested over 3 rounds of 2 minutes with 1-minute intervals UWCB Provide 16oz gloves to be worn on fight night. Full UWCB headgear to be worn. Groin protection compulsory for males, optional for females. Scoring by referee Three standing eight counts in a round will result in referee stopping contest The referee can stop the bout at any stage if in their independent opinion, the safety of either boxer is compromised.

 11) Can people still join up?

 People can sign up to take part at any time.

UWCB newsletter:

Sign up to UWCB's newsletter:

Cancer Research UK:

1) How did you first get to hear about UWCB wanting to fundraise for you?

Ultra White Collar Boxing have been working in partnership with Cancer Research UK since 2013, and during that time have raised an incredible £3.3million for the charity.

2) How have you been supporting or helping UWCB while they fundraise for you?

Cancer Research UK receives no government funding so we rely solely on the money we receive from our supporters.

3) CRUK must be so proud of how much UWCB has fundraised for you so far? How much is it now?

Ultra White Collar Boxing have contributed an incredible amount to our scientists and researchers and will help us reach our ambition to see three-quarters of people surviving the disease within the next 20 years.

What started out as 1 event in Derby, has now grown and will see Ultra White Collar Boxing deliver 350 events this year across 90 different locations.

Ultra White Collar Boxing stipulate that their boxers raise a minimum of £50 for Cancer Research UK to take part in their events, and have committed to raising £6million by the end of 2016, increasing to a phenomenal £10million by the end of 2017.

We are incredibly proud to be working with such an ambitious and professional organisation as UWCB, and plan to continue developing our partnership further in the coming years. 

 I felt disappointed about Cancer Research UK answer,  when I asked them questions about rarer cancers, CRUK said "they never thought about rare cancers as much but now they're looking into funding more research etc for them."
I've been saying for years informally that CRUK need to look more into rare cancers and apart from MAP chemotherapy ("The chemotherapy drugs doctors usually use are methotrexatedoxorubicin (Adriamycin) and cisplatin. This combination of drugs is often called MAP." - Euramos 1 trial) for osteosarcoma which is a bone cancer CRUK  has put some funding towards MAP. and because this is the regime I had 2 cycles of in 2008 that was all I was aware of for my rare cancer.  Survival rates for my type of cancer (osteosarcoma)  haven't changed for 25 years. 
 When I recently went to the Bone Cancer Research Trust's 10th birthday and Bone Cancer conference I talked to a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon who has special interests in Bone and Soft tissue tumours and Sarcoma cancers and asked if the Clinical Reference Group for Sarcoma in the NHS which I use to be a patient representative for was definitely closed down by the NHS and unfortunately it was. The Clinical Reference Group has now been changed to Oncology Surgery the Consultant said and that rare cancers will now get less attention and get lost within all the different types of cancers'.   At least when it was just for Sarcoma as a rare cancer there would have had more chance to be heard but now I feel for rare cancers' that we are only going back in terms of finding a cure.

"Helped set up the International Rare Cancers Initiative which is developing clinical trials to find new treatments for rare cancers. In 2014-15 the first trials opened internationally, and UK patients are already taking part.
We’re increasing our research in key areas such as early diagnosis, and hard-to-treat cancers including lungpancreaticoesophageal cancers and brain tumours

To help accelerate progress, we’ll be investing an additional £50 million a year into new funding schemes for our researchers. These will encourage collaboration and innovation, and support research tackling some of the biggest scientific challenges in cancer research. 

We’ll campaign for the best cancer services in all parts of the UK, and give more people the chance to join the fight against cancer.
But we can’t achieve our mission alone. We rely on our dedicated scientists, doctors and nurses, and the generosity of our supporters across the UK. With your help, we can beat cancer sooner." - Cancer Research UK
(link is external)

Harley Dunsmore (One of the models who holds up boxing round sign):

1) Why did you decide to take part?

I decided to take part because not only is being a ring girl really fun the UWCB is for a great cause. The atmosphere is great, and everyone is in good spirits knowing the money is going towards a great cause.

2) How much fitness do you have to do to get ready & to look good for events?

I try to go to the gym 3-4 times a week and I'm also a dancer so I try to go to a dance class at least once a week. I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle but there is nothing wrong with a cheat meal!

3) What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a ring girl? Eg. Fun experience, good modelling experience etc.

It's about having fun and being supportive to the people fighting. You always need to look your best and be professional.

4) What do you think about how much money they've raised so far for Cancer Research UK?

It's a great event. Everyone loves a boxing night out, the atmosphere, the drinks, the fights etc. To combine this with raising money for charity is so clever, the fighter gets to train hard with the help and support of experienced coaches and the friends and family get to experience and support a night at the boxing. They have raised so much money and used a new modern method to do it. It's a great way to honour someone who you may have lost close to you from cancer or even if you have survived cancer yourself, or you just want to raise money for a good cause!

Harley's twitter account: @HarleyRedRae

Male Boxer no.1 - Paul Cashmore:

1) Tell people a little about yourself and about the programme #Hunted on channel 4 you're on?

I spent 17 years in the Police service and was part of the most successful Robbery unit in London, I’ve been commended for saving lives by saving a lady from jumping from a bridge, saving a lady who was about to jump from the 17th floor of a tower block and cut her wrists and disarmed a gunman who was firing the weapon in a public place. I have investigated major crime but I also setup a boxing initiative for under privileged young people to combat gang violence and. Upon leaving the Police I have investigated numerous crimes including catching a dangerous stalker. I am also a qualified bodyguard.

I filmed Hunted for the first series as a Fugitive Hunter tracking down members of the public who had opted to go on the run for a month.

2) How did you first hear about UWCB's event in aid of CRUK?

I was told about it by a boxing coach in London whilst doing some training. At 41 years old I’m too old to compete as an amateur fighter but this seemed like a great opportunity to train and raise money for such an amazing cause as Cancer Research UK. So many people are affected by cancer either directly or through friends and family. What everyone has accomplished at UWCB is truly phenomenal.

3) Have you ever boxed before?

A friend of mine was raising money for Tommy’s children charity a few years ago but I was almost at the cut off point for amateur fighters. I fought in the Lafone cup as a Police Officer and won my fight but tore my rotator cuff in the process.

Paul Cashmore below:

4) Where are you at in your boxing training?

I was getting in good shape and my fitness was good and did some great sessions in my old home town of York until I fell ill and had some fluid on my lung. I am now back in training and looking at a new date to fight.

5) If people would like to see you box, do you have a link where they can buy tickets please?

The link is and you can buy tickets but I’ll be posting on Twitter. Even if people aren’t going to see me there are some amazing people taking part for such a wonderful cause and they will have a great evening too.

6) Any fundraising info/links you want to share.

I’ll post any new links on my twitter account.

Paul's twitter account: Paul Cashmore



Male Boxer no.2 - Brett Swiffen:

1) How did you first get to hear about UWCB?

I heard about uwcb on Facebook and I applied but didn't even think I would get a response!

2) Would you mind telling people the cancer you got diagnosed with and when?
(current status - are you in remission?)

 I was diagnosed with stage 4b follicular lymphoma incurable it was in my neck, armpit, groin and in and around my organs in my stomach it eventually spread to my spine and bones, I was diagnosed on my 30th birthday the 21/05/2007 I am currently in remission after undergoing a bone marrow transplant.

3) What motivated you to take part in the UWCB event?

 I have suffered with severe depression anxiety low self esteem and panic attacks since having my bone marrow transplant as such I new I needed something to focus on and always fancied boxing so signed up to uwcb to help me and also help raise money for cancer research.

4) How much have you raised so far for CRUK?

I have raised in total since being diagnosed over £10,000 for various cancer charities including the Anthony Nolan Trust who helped find my match.

 Your fundraising link: Brett Swiffen

5) For those cancer patients who are at the point where there able to physically do things like boxing but haven't yet, why would you recommend boxing at an UWCB event?

Boxing is one of the best sports to help build confidence and meet new friends and also get you fit and the whole fight night helps fetch friends and family together which is a big thing when cancer can result in you losing touch with so many friends like it did me.

Female Boxer at UWCB:

1) Your name?

My name is Charlie Mackay.

2) What made you decide to take part as a boxer in UWCB?

My friend passed away age 26 of cancer.

3) Have you boxed before?

Never done anything like this before.

4) It's great to see women taking part, how does it feel to box in such a great event?

It was really good training and I got fitter than I had been in years met some fantastic friends.

5) Would you recommend women to take this up?

I would recommend it to anybody who asked it builds confidence self esteem fitness helps with depression boxing as a sport in general is fantastic.

Charlie's twitter account: Charlie Mackay

Support comes in many different guises, everybody and everything has a part.

** Special thanks to everyone who let me interview them and Hannah McIntyre for drawing the boxing woman illustration above. You can find Hannah at doodleheart **



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