Did you know that Edinburgh is a global centre of expertise in cancer research and treatment?


Back in 2019, we didn’t.


As so often happens with these things, we were asked by a friend to lend a little pro bono creative support to a new charity initiative, Business Beats Cancer Edinburgh. Led largely by a group of go-getting Scottish business leaders, the charity was launching a fund-raising ‘business dinner’ in support of Cancer Research UK’s unique research centre based at Edinburgh’s Western General.


We created some cool branding and collateral in support of the event. But, since almost everyone knows someone whose health, life, family, friends or colleagues have been touched, affected or destroyed by cancer, we found ourselves getting more deeply involved. One of our founding directors, Lou, joined the board of Business Beats Cancer Edinburgh and we continued to help with ideas, creativity and fund-raising derring-doo.


This year’s Business Beats Cancer Annual Dinner in Edinburgh was the most successful yet. The evening attracted the best and brightest companies in Edinburgh – abrdn, Craneware, Blackford, International Beverage, Pinsent Mason.


The buzz in the ballroom at the Prestonfield Hotel was incredible. The generosity of the Business Beats Cancer Edinburgh crowd raised a record £130,000 on the night. Double the amount raised in previous years, with every penny going towards funding life-saving cancer research. The event has firmly established itself as one of the highlights of the Edinburgh business community’s social calendar. If you want to book a table for next year atonly £1500 for 10 places – hurry, hurry – they are going fast!


The evening’s centrepiece was an emotional interview with gold medal winning Paralympian David Smith MBE. David was left temporarily paralysed by a life-threatening tumour in his spine but has still managed to pursue sporting success in cycling and rowing. He talked onstage with fellow cyclist Mark Beaumont about his cancer journey and determination to continue chasing his dreams.


Fighting for survival on a hospital bed has given David a new-found appreciation for how precious life is. His advice for everyone in attendance was to make the most of the time you have. He said: “We come into this world on an inhale and leave this world on an exhale. But the breaths in between are all just as important.”  


Attendees also heard from Prof Neil Carragher, a drug discovery expert at Cancer Research UK’s Edinburgh Centre. He provided a timely reminder of just how important funding is to this pioneering field. During his speech, he highlighted how far drug discovery has come and explained that research into drug combinations can help us find a cure for cancer.


Always Be Content’s Co-Director Lou Kiddier is the Chair of EBBC and has experienced the devastation cancer can cause first hand. In her opening speech, she shared how she lost her mum to the disease. “Loss laced with hope is what binds our board together,” said Lou. “Let’s pray for remedies …. but pay for research.” One of the most powerful moments of the night came when she asked those in attendance to raise their hand if they or someone they know had been impacted by cancer. Just about every hand in the room went up.


While the evening had a serious purpose, there was still plenty of fun to be had. Comic compere-beyond-compare, Alex Fleming was MC and his one-liners had the crowd in stitches. He also enticed people to bid on the dazzling array of prizes which had been donated to raise vital funds. They included VIP tickets to watch Beyoncé at Murrayfield, a luxury whisky experience at The Macallan Distillery, and business class tickets to anywhere in the world courtesy of Qatar Airways.


As creative partner, Always Be Content produced all the marketing to promote the event through social media channels, e-mail and print.


Good times were had at the dinner – but the fund-raising purpose was never forgotten. With hope in all hearts, these vital funds can help bring forward much-needed treatments.


In all, our creative support of the Business Beats Cancer Edinburgh charity is a powerful expression of the Always Be Content ethos: dare to care. Business Beats Cancer Edinburgh shows that good things happen when people care enough to work together in common purpose.

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