Pink Week is an initiative that was launched at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls School in 2011, before establishing itself at Clare College, Cambridge last year and extending Cambridge-wide this year. Its aim: to spread awareness about breast cancer and to raise money for breast cancer affiliated charities. After exams, Pink Week is heading northward and is set to take Durham by storm. From the 8th until the 10th of June, Durham will be swathed in pink to support a wonderful cause and make the most of post-exam freedom. Without giving too much away at once, Pink Week will be packed full of events that anyone can get involved in, from engaging speakers to nights of revelry, as well as raffles, bake sales, offers on goodies throughout town, and much more. The ‘what’ will all be revealed in due course, but for now I can offer a bit about the ‘why’. Why did I decide to launch Pink Week in Durham, why is Pink Week a project that is worth supporting and why will Pink Week be around for a long time to come?
My attachment to Pink Week is owed largely to Nina, a close friend of mine. Nina is someone that constantly motivates me, and many others, to retain perspective on the important things in life. She lost her mother, Dina Rabinovitch, to breast cancer in 2007 and is one of few who can say that they have successfully managed to turn a personal struggle into an inspiring and, more importantly, potentially life-changing venture. Nina founded Pink Week in memory of her mum, who strongly believed that we must continue to fight to discover a cure. If she were alive today there is no doubt that she would be immensely proud of everything her daughter has achieved.
It is strange to think that just four years ago we were tacking A4 posters – entitled ‘Pink Day’ and asking everyone to wear pink accessories – to our school walls and using our break times to sell breast cancer awareness badges. Nina dreamed of bigger and better and that is exactly what she delivered. This year, Cambridge Pink Week had signs in every shop window, free massages, cupcakes made especially by Fitzbillies, raffles, bake sales, dance classes, club nights, even a ‘Night at the Museum’ – you name it, they did it. Listening to Nina speak about how incredible the experience was definitely planted the initial seeds of curiosity and, after seeing the triumph of Bristol Pink Week in March, I knew I could no longer resist bringing Pink Week to Durham.
Durham University has a great track record of impressive charity work and it was therefore not long before I found an amazing committee to help make Pink Week happen. There are also representatives at every college (check the list below), which should prove useful when communicating what events are happening when.
The aim to spread awareness and raise money for breast cancer charities is straightforward. The statistics speak for themselves: 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and more than 50,000 women and 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every single year, of which 12,000 women and 80 men lose their lives. Breast cancer receives a lot of attention and much campaigning is already being done for the cause, yet Pink Week is slightly different in that it hopes to persuade students that it is essential to check their breasts regularly, as we are not exempt just because we are young. Early detection can save lives. Added to this is the fact that Pink Week is a social media-heavy campaign, which means that the message is not just reaching those who have liked the Facebook Page, but all their friends and family too.
The enormous success of Cambridge and Bristol Pink Week suggests that Pink Week is here to stay. There are plans for Pink Week to take place at Birmingham, Sussex and Oxford universities, and even across the pond at UCLA. This cause has brought students together and has proven itself to be not just relevant but of great importance. I hope that Durham Pink Week will follow in the footsteps of Cambridge and Bristol, transforming Durham into a sea of pink while spreading awareness as far and wide as possible. There is no better way to spend the glorious post-exam days – I urge you all to come along to our events, don your pink garms and kick cancer’s butt.
To keep up to date on what’s happening please like our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/DurhamPinkWeek) and follow our Instagram account (Durham Pink Week).
Pink Week Reps:
St Cuthbert’s Society (Committee) – Rachel Bronstein, Eleanor Pomeroy, Lydia Levy, Isabella Ogston, Emily Treacher, Freya Semken, Polly Mackintosh, Kate Kilgarriff
St John’s – Lewis Stock
Hatfield – Lily Hannah Olsberg
St Mary’s – Luke Wagner
Grey – Olivia Scott
Collingwood – Lauren Hitchman
Van Mildert – Lucy Weaver de Araújo
Trevelyan – Bella Lever
St Aidan’s – Lucy Adelman
Josephine Butler – Vincent Lim
Hild Bede – Matthew Gilmour
St Chad’s – Alex Lavelle
Castle – Cathy Sallabank
John Snow – Muhideen Mo Alimi