Big Bus coming to SuperValu Ballymoney store

Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity, Action Cancer is bringing its mobile unit, the Big Bus, to Ballymoney this month, as part of its fifth anniversary celebrations.

The unit, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will be located at the SuperValu store, Ballymena Road, Ballymoney on September 28.

The 18 metre-long mobile clinic, whose main sponsor is retail group SuperValu and its independent retailers, was launched in 2006 to help Action Cancer save lives and support people.

More than 22,000 people have used the services on the unit, at over 750 locations, including local companies and community groups.

Services provided on the Big Bus, which is fully accessible for people with disabilities by means of a wheelchair lift, include digital breast screening for women aged between 40 and 49 and over 70, health promotion and MOT health checks for men and women. A full body composition analysis using the latest technology provides clients with information on their weight, body mass index and also offers health awareness and weight loss guidance.

Big Bus staff can provide information on complementary therapies and other cancer support services such as counselling, a Listening Ear Service, and support groups, which are available for cancer patients, their carers and families at the charity’s headquarters in Belfast and at other locations.

Anyone interested in making an appointment for the Big Bus should telephone Action Cancer in advance on 028 9080 3344. Appointments will be available from 10am to 3pm. Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis as there are a limited number of appointments for all services.

As part of SuperValu’s long-term commitment to Action Cancer’s mobile cancer services, which they have sponsored since 2001, the independent retail group has provided more than £980,000 of funding for the Big Bus, including £120,000 towards the annual running costs. SuperValu stores throughout Northern Ireland host Big Bus visits and raise funds to keep the service moving.

For a week commencing Saturday September 24, the Ballymoney SuperValu store, along with all stores across Northern Ireland, will raise funds for the Big Bus by asking customers to donate spare twenty pence pieces to the ‘20p Challenge’. SuperValu hopes the fundraising push will help them reach a £1million funding milestone for the Big Bus by the start of October.

The Big Bus targets areas in Northern Ireland where cancer risk is greatest and where uptake of screening services is low. Individuals wishing to make an appointment for a service and groups and companies wishing to make a booking for the Big Bus to visit their location should telephone Action Cancer on 028 9080 3344 or use the dedicated email address bigbus@actioncancer.org