October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Diet Coke has again partnered with Asda’s breast cancer charity Tickled Pink to raise money and awareness. Emma Gittoes, Community Manager at Asda, tells us how Diet Coke fans are contributing to the charity’s goal of raising £5m.

First up, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who’s held a Tickled Pink event, bought a Tickled Pink product or donated even a few pennies. I know it’s a cliché, but even pennies add up, and together we’re making a huge difference to millions of women’s lives.

About Tickled Pink

Tickled Pink is Asda’s flagship fundraising partnership with Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now. Breast Cancer Care is a UK-wide charity providing care, information and support to people affected by breast cancer. Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer research charity – it’s dedicated to funding research into this devastating disease.

"Every time you buy one of the 58,000 limited edition 30-can Diet Coke multipacks, 40p will be donated to Tickled Pink."

The Diet Coke and Tickled Pink partnership

Every time you buy one of the 58,000 limited edition 30-can Diet Coke multipacks, 40p will be donated to Tickled Pink. This year Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Coca-Cola Classic are also included in the campaign too, which will help raises even more funds. But it’s not just about the money – although, that’s great – it’s also fantastic that the breast cancer pink ribbon is bright and bold on these special edition packs to help raise awareness.

Coca-Cola Tickled Pink
Tickled Pink: Special edition packs of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Classic in Asda.

Why Tickled Pink is so important

Every year nearly 60,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK, that’s one person every 10 minutes. It’s the most common cancer in women in the UK and obviously men can be diagnosed too. It’s unfortunately quite common and I’m no exception – I have breast cancer in my family. Plus it’s not just the people diagnosed that are affected, it has a massive impact on their family and friends too.

"An incredible 3.3m people a year have been supported through these services."

This fundraising helps Breast Cancer Care deliver support on the ground, such as helplines and workshops for people going through cancer, and their families. Plus the financial support from Tickled Pink has helped Breast Cancer Now open up tissue banks, where UK researchers can access vital tissue samples for research.

An incredible 3.3m people a year have been supported through these services. Which means that Coca-Cola fans, Asda customers and staff have helped millions of people.

Supporting families

The support the Breast Cancer Care helpline gives is amazing. One lady described a little boy who rang whenever his mum was going in for treatment. He wanted to speak to someone outside his family about what she was going through – and how he could help her when she came home.

Early detection is vital

Giving people information is vital too. For example, the earlier breast cancer is identified, the better. And simple things like knowing how to correctly carry out a breast check can be literally lifesaving. That’s why we encourage our charities to come into our stores to speak to customers about breast cancer.

Helen-Louise Sestan-Burton’s vintage Tickled Pink t-shirt quilt

Having fun – and raising money

Our community champions – dedicated members of staff in our superstores – have 22 hours a week to support local activities, including Tickled Pink. And they go all out! We challenge them to come up with their own ideas and we’ve had some great ones. One woman took all the Tickled Pink t-shirts that our clothing brand George had produced over the past 10 years and stitched them into an amazing quilt.

The silliest thing I’ve come across…

One of the Tickled Pink events is called Strawberry Teas where fundraisers hold their own tea parties with a healthy strawberry twist. One of our community champions, Sharon Nobel from Fareham, took it even further and hosted her own strawberry tea – in the sea!

Sharon Nobel and friends having tea in the sea while raising money for Breast Cancer Care

Celebrating success

We’re proud to have been in partnership with Breast Cancer Care for 20 years! And during that 20 years we’ll have raised a staggering amount of money for breast cancer – £50 million by the end of 2016! So to celebrate we’re running a special thank-you campaign to celebrate telling people’s stories and explaining where your money goes. We’re so grateful to everyone involved.

Find out more about how you can donate to Tickled Pink.

More about the author
Emma Gittoes is the National Community Manager for Tickled Pink at Asda. She’s an award-winning Corporate Social Responsibility professional and has been working on the campaign since March 2016.