Comedy hopefuls try their hand at stand-up in support of cancer charity

19th May 2016

Once again, ten brave business leaders from Sheffield are set to take to the stage in October to perform a stand- up comedy routine in support of their local cancer hospital.

Now into its fifth year, Funny Business Sheffield- a unique event organised by Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity- will see the brave participants deliver a five minute comedy sketch at the City Hall on the 20th October. In a similar style to previous years, the comical contestants will undergo a five week training regime with policeman turned creative comic, Alfie Moore. Alfie, who has recently finished a successful touring stint in Edinburgh and over in Australia as well as having had his own show on BBC Radio Four, will coach the contestants how to separate the laughs from the lulls ahead of their final performance. The event, which is sponsored by One Health Group, Hampton by Hilton Sheffield and Marcos New York Italian will see business bods step out of their comfort zones into the bright lights to raise much needed funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity. The high profile participants include: Peter Swallow, Managing Director at Bolsterstone PLC, Jim Bell, Director at Arup, Anne Wilson MBE, Managing Director at Numill Tooling Solutions, Chris Sexton, IT Director at The University of Sheffield, Jackie Freeborn, Managing Director at Skin Care Yorkshire/ Work-Wise and a trio act from Westfield Health Leadership Team, Jason Hogan, Finance Director, Paul Shires, Marketing Director and Chairman, Graham Moore. Derek Bickerstaff, Chief Executive of One Health Group, said: -We are delighted to be sponsoring Funny Business for the second year running. The event is a fantastic and unique way to raise money for such a worthwhile charity. -Last year one of our consultants took part in the event so we have first-hand experience of just how nerve wracking being a stand-up comedian can be. We wish all this year's contestants the very best of luck and we are really looking forward to attending Funny Business in October and watching the region's leading business people trying their very best to make us laugh!. The money raised from individual sponsorship and ticket sales will go towards funding a wide variety of projects for Weston Park Hospital including the expansion of research studies, improving the way cancer treatments are delivered and supporting the ongoing care provisions of patients and their families affected by cancer. Last years event delighted an audience of over 450 to eight impressive stand-up comedy routines and in total raised over £15,000 for the Cancer Charity. Now into its fifth year, the people of Sheffield are invited to 'laugh out loud' once again as influential faces take to the stage in their hometown. Deciding the contestant's funny fate on the night will be four high profile Sheffield figures; past contestant and Partner at Irwin Mitchell, Martin Loxley, CEO of Sheffield Forgemasters, Graham Honeyman, Chief Executive of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Sir Andrew Cash OBE and Presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield, Paulette Edwards. Deputy Charity Director, Tina Harrison will be supporting the contestants throughout their training and on the night performances, whilst helping them each raise as much money as possible to support the vital work of Weston Park Hospital. Tina said, -Funny Business has now become a fixed date in the business event calendar and we're delighted to be returning to the city hall with such a diverse group of Business leaders from across the city. -The stark reality is that half of all people born since 1960 will be affected by cancer in their life time and we need to raise funds to ensure Weston Park Hospital remain at the forefront of cancer research, treatment and care. -This is by no means a walk in the park and the contestants will need to go above and beyond to prepare their routines and deliver them on the night. We want to encourage friends, family and colleagues alike to buy their tickets and come & show their utmost support on the night. -However, with our high profile contestants it will be a sell-out event and we advise booking early to avoid disappointment! -With the invaluable support of our sponsors, we hope that this year's event will raise even more money to support those living with cancer in our region! Weston Park Hospital is one of only a handful of specialist cancer hospitals in England and treats patients from all over South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire a population of almost 1.8million people. Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for the hospital and exists to support the world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer. Director of Arup and Funny Business contestant, Jim Bell said, -Over the past year I have become aware of the importance of the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity through a close colleague who is currently receiving treatment at Weston Park Hospital. -Having learnt about the vital work they do, I wanted to actively support a charity that helps so many people, as well as one that I feel a particular connection to. -In terms of preparation for the big Funny Business event, I tried a few lines out on my ever-supportive family and friends no one laughed. If all else fails my plan is to blag it! Tickets for Funny Business are just £15 each and can be purchased online at www.funnybusinesssheffield.org.uk or by calling the charity office on 01142265370. For those who can't come along to the event, the participants can be individually sponsored at: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/funnybusiness2016

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