The national fundraising campaign launched in Guernsey today [15 January] and encourages people in the Bailiwick and beyond to don their wellies and jump in puddles.
'Jumping in Puddles for Cancer' was inspired by local charity campaigner Susie Campanella, whose close friend ITV journalist Gary Burgess received a devastating terminal cancer diagnosis at the end of last year.
After sending him a pair of wellington boots and a poster of someone jumping in a puddle as a birthday gift, Ms Campanella was touched to see the effect the gesture had on him and she decided to turn a rainy day into a hopeful one for people affected by cancer.
The campaign aims to raise £1m. by inviting fundraisers to donate £1 to jump in a puddle and upload an image onto its dedicated website, which can be shared across social media platforms.
It is hoped that the initiative will gain traction beyond the Bailiwick and that people across the globe will be inspired to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The campaign has already received widespread support from local businesses, such as KPMG in the Channel Islands, and high-profile islanders, including the Lieutenant-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, who hosted the official launch at Government House at 3pm this afternoon [15 January].
Miss Campanella was excited to launch the campaign in Guernsey and was overwhelmed by the support already received from so many people, both on-island and further afield.
'Cancer devastates so many lives, it goes far beyond me and my lovely friend Gary, and it needs to be stopped,' she said.
'The only way we can do this is to find a cure and new treatments, we hope that these vital funds raised will go some way to doing just that - while also spreading a little fun during such a challenging time.'
Mr Burgess said the gift of wellies showed kindness at a tough time which encouraged him to get outside and reconnect with nature.
'To see that gesture turned into this nationwide campaign is just extraordinary,' he said.
'I’ve seen how, in the darkest of times, that act of jumping in a puddle or simply seeing pictures of others doing so has a magical ability to raise a smile. If it can also raise £1m. for a cause we will all be affected by, either directly or indirectly, then that all be something extra special.'
He said that while he may not have long left in the world, he still has time to don his wellies, get jumping in puddles and do his bit to support cancer research. And he hoped as many people as possible do likewise.
English broadcaster, writer and adventurer Ben Fogle has backed the campaign, saying he could not think of a better way to spend a soggy afternoon than pulling on some wellies to get out in the fresh air and jump in puddles.
'Jumping in Puddles for cancer is such a simple, feel-good thing to do – it just makes you smile.
'Who doesn’t like a splash about in a puddle – especially for kids who are normally told not to get messy?!' he said.
His Excellency Sir Ian Corder added: 'Charity fundraising has suffered considerably during the current pandemic, which has had an impact on research into cancer.
'Jumping in a puddle and donating a pound is an easy and fun way to help turn that around.'
He wished Miss Campanella well with her 'irresistible invitation' to make a splash for a good cause and hoped it will raise plenty of money and smiles throughout the Channel Islands and beyond.
Chair of the Guernsey branch of Cancer Research UK Bryan Lean said progress made over the last 10 years has been 'remarkable' with more patients surviving.
'Here in Guernsey, we raise vital funds to help finance research in Southampton for the benefit of Guernsey and UK patients. We have a target of ensuring that at least three out of every four cancer sufferers survive,' he said.
'The impact that Covid-19 has had on our life-saving research and the distressing impact on cancer patients has been devastating.
'2020 hasn’t been the year that we thought it would be, but we know we can still bring hope to people facing cancer and their families – we really are incredibly lucky to have people like Susie supporting our fundraising.'
For more information about Jumping in Puddles for Cancer, visit www.jumpinapuddle.co.uk or email email@example.com. Also, search the charity on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
Share your puddle jumping photos using the hashtag #JumpInForCancer