Event Preview: Climb of Life 2016

OPI and the UK business supplies sector once again come together to fight the never-ending battle against cancer. And we need your help...


Another year on and cancer statistics still make for frightening reading. One in two people – more than ever before – will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Currently, half of those people will survive. 

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) aims to increase this survival rate to three in four cases by 2034. In order to do this, it is continuously working to help prevent the disease, diagnose it earlier, develop new treatments, and optimise current treatments to make them even more effective. All of this requires funds.

Climb of Life

This is where the business supplies sector and specifically the Climb of Life (COL) comes in. On 4 November this year, COL will return once again to the Lake District in the north of England where about 100 dedicated members of the UK OP community will stand up to wind and weather, often both in ferociously wintery conditions, to raise money for the ICR. 

COL – created 29 years ago and organised by industry stalwart and Chairman of the BOSS Benevolent Fund Graeme Chapman MBE – has been supporting the ICR and its vital research for the past ten years. During that time, many friends and family members of those who have taken part – COL climbers themselves even – have fallen victim to this dreaded illness. They have taken comfort from the fact that one day, with their fundraising help, the suffering of so many will hopefully end. 

This year, in recognition of this longstanding support, the OP congregation will be taking on ten of the toughest peaks in the Lake District under the COL theme of  ‘10 YEARS 10 HI-PEAKS 4 ICR’.

For the past two years, COL raised more than £100,000 ($129,000) for the ICR (£101,260 in 2015 to be precise), bringing the total over the past decade to £650,000. And the only way is up, says Chapman, urging participants to pull out all the stops to surpass this phenomenal total.

And this is exactly what we’re going to do, says Steve Hilleard, who heads up the OPI team, the biggest fundraiser last year with £21,000 (followed by EVO Group): “This is the seventh year OPI is taking part in COL and the need to raise funds for cancer research is as pressing as it’s ever been. Please dig deep and support this fantastic cause. And hopefully one day there won’t be a need to climb mountains in the wind and snow and we won’t have to mourn friends and relatives that have lost their battle against cancer.”

Research information

Among the trekkers in November will be Professor Keith Jones, a leading scientist from the ICR who will also brief participants on the organisation’s latest developments at the beautiful Swan Hotel in Grasmere, which will once again act as base camp for the event. Professor Jones – one of a number of ICR staff taking part in COL – is Leader of the Medicinal Chemistry Team 3 within the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit. This team is involved in all stages of drug discovery from hit generation through to candidate selection.

Chapman’s support for this cause remains unwavering. He says: “If you had told me 29 years ago that I would still be organising this event now, I’d have thought you were crazy. But the incredible enthusiasm and commitment from the 100-strong team keeps me going and organisations like the ICR need all the help and support we can muster in order to fight this awful disease.” 

Sponsor us

There are several ways to sponsor us:

1) Through a recognised fundraising website:

All countries except the USA: Please visit https://www.justgiving.com/COL2016
Don’t forget to include gift aid, if you are a UK tax payer

For donations from USA: Please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/OPIClimbofLife/2016

2) Direct to us:

If you would like to make a donation directly to us, or alternatively if you have any queries or questions about sponsoring at all, or if you require any confirmation from the ICR charity, please email Nicky.Coulson@OPI.net